Setting a Purpose
To improve student ability to Communicate & Generate Ideas and Ask Questions.
Character Connection – To create empathy for peers in bullying situations.
* Sticky notes
* Large-sized “Question Building Chart” (for placement of questions)
* Place a chair at the front of the room.
Choose a student in the group who you think the other students would not normally see as a “bully.” They should be someone who will take this seriously and be confident enough to provide insights into the mind of someone who bullies. Ask them to sit in the chair at the front of the class.
Ask students to write down one question on their sticky notes to ask the bully. Remind them that an effective question will be one that forces to bully to reflect on their behaviour and provide insight into their motives. Students should write their name on the back as well.
Tip from a Mentor - Remind and model how students should only use appropriate language when writing their ideas on the sticky note.
Collect the questions and give them to the “bully” to read over. The “bully” will have the choice to read aloud or pass any question that he/she is uncomfortable reading.
When the “bully” has chosen the first question to read aloud and answer, turn to them and say:
Before you begin, I want you to take on the role of the bully. 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 bully.
After the class has observed the “bully” read some questions and provide answers, ask the “bully:” How did you feel as the “bully”? What did you find difficult to do? How might this role-playing activity help us to stop bullying?
(Environment) The seating arrangement could be a horseshoe – so students are surrounding the “bully.”
Place the sticky notes on a Question Building Chart using the question starters (who, what, where, when, why, how). Show the class the distribution of questions by pointing out the variety of starter words and whether the questions asked for “recall” information or “deeper-thinking”.
Tip From a Mentor: The observations you make about the group’s ability to generate questions could be used to plan your next literacy activity or guided reading groups on creating “rich” questions.
How did it go?
Now that you have tried this lesson, briefly reflect. What went well? What changes did you need to make during the activity? How do you think student perceptions about the “bully” have been affected?
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.