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A Window into the Victim’s World – Bullying Lesson Part 1

by Neil Finney

A Window into the Victim’s WorldSetting a Purpose

To improve student ability to Communicate & Generate Ideas.
Character Connection - To create empathy for peers in difficult bullying situations.

Materials Needed
* Song (with the theme of bullying or being an outsider)

* Small pieces of paper

* Place a chair at the front of the room.

Warm Up

(Setting the Tone for the Lesson) Play a song with the theme of bullying. Tell students, “I’d like you to listen to the words of the song I’m about to play. Pay particular attention to the feelings described by the singer.”

Think Aloud Mini-lesson (10 Minutes)
Sit on the chair at the front of the room. Invite the class to ask you questions (4-5 total) that you will answer, so they can figure out who you are (you are modeling a victim of bullying).

Choose a student in the group who you think the other students would not normally see as a “victim.” They should be outgoing and confident and likely to provide insights into the mind of someone who is victimized by a bully. Have them sit in the chair at the front of the class (the “hot seat”).

Tip From a Mentor - Talk to the student before class to make sure they are comfortable with being in the hot seat.

Prepare the “victim” for the activity by saying: “Now, before you begin, I want you to take on the role of the victim. Your body language, eye contact, the tone of your voice, your attitude and your volume should all be used to convince us that you are a victim. When you hear the situations read by your classmates, I want you to tell the class of a time when you felt like they did. If you haven’t experienced one, it is alright to make one up.”



  1. Class, today we have a special guest. I’ve asked _______ to come in, so they can hear our discussion today about the effects of bullying.
  1. Class, on your piece of paper, please write down a time when you were the target of a bully or a situation where someone else made you feel bad about yourself. If you want, you can read aloud your experiences to share with the group. For instance, once someone told me that there was no way I would make the high school hockey team. They said I wasn’t good enough. This made me question myself and my abilities. I felt angry and sad.

Choose volunteers to read aloud. The “victim” should listen to the situations and then connect to them (when they can) by sharing or inventing a situation that they have been through where they felt the same.

Differentiated Instruction-
(Process) Students could work collaboratively on writing a situation – it can be real or imagined.

Students could also read their situations in unison with a partner or group to enhance the power of sharing the response.

(Content) Instead of a song, project a music video that has the theme of bullying.


Wrap Up

After the class has observed the “victim” share some stories and experiences, ask them to write on a second piece of paper their answer to the following prompt:

After listening to ________ share their feelings about being the victim of bullying, I now realize that…


How did it go?

Briefly reflect on this lesson. What surprised you about your students during this activity? What other topics or issues could be explored and discussed using a “hot seat”?


During Neilʼs 10 years of teaching experience, he has taught in London, England; Ontario; public and private schools; elementary and secondary; junior; intermediate; core french; developmental skills; and junior gifted (grades 4,5,6). He is a Reading Specialist that has been incorporating technology in his practice consistently throughout his career. Neil has recently published his first book entitled “Ignite. Incite. Inspire.” – Examining 21st Century Issues in Education, which is a collection of teaching articles and posts written from January to December 2011.


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