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Taking the Message to the School Community: Bullying Lesson Part 3

by Neil Finney

Setting a Purpose
To improve student ability to Gather Information using Interviews.
Character ConnectionTo create empathy for others who have experienced bullying situations.


*As a Think/Pair/Share Activity, have students discuss with their partners:
(Write these questions on the board as prompts for discussion)
How does bullying affect people?
How does sharing bullying experiences help to prevent it from happening?


Materials Needed

* Questionnaires (student-created)

Pause, Point, Say

Share a bullying story that you have experienced with the students. An example might sound like:

When I was in grade 7, there were a group of kids that always picked on a boy who had just moved to our school. I felt horrible watching the way that they treated him and I could tell that it really bothered him. Some of them were my friends too, so I didn’t want to say anything and have them think that I was a loser too. I was afraid that they would start to pick on me – if I stood up for the boy – and then I would be bullied instead. Even today, I still regret not doing anything.

What surprises you about the story I just told? How many other people in our school community do you think have bullying stories, like the one I just shared?

Today, we are going to ask people in our school about their bullying experiences. From these interviews, we should be able to better understand just how important an issue bullying is, and how we can use these stories to help overcome the effects of bullying.

Main Activity

Students (in pairs) create a list of 3 questions for their interview questionnaires. They will meet with other students, teachers, administrators, staff members and interview them using the questionnaire created in class. Questions will focus on any bullying experiences the interviewee has had and the feelings associated with them.

Tip From a Mentor

Give a “heads up” about the activity in a school email or announcement. Ask for volunteers to be interviewed or choose a varied cross-section of the school. Make sure that you have arranged the interviewees and the appropriate time for the interview prior to this lesson.

Differentiated Instruction

(Process) Use an online survey to poll the school community (parents/guardians, students, teachers, administrators).
(Product) Use a spreadsheet program to create charts to display the data (math connection).
(Environment) Using the whole school environment to carry out interviews – not just their classmates.


Once students have gathered the interview results and chose the best way to display the data as a class (e.g. circle graph), the results could be shared at a school assembly or posted to the school website for the community to see.

Wrap Up

Write the following discussion prompts on the board:

What did you learn from carrying out these interviews about the issue of bullying and our school community? Did anything surprise you about your results?

How did it go?

Now that you have focused on the issue of bullying with your class, briefly reflect on what has surprised (or even disappointed) you about the students. Have you noticed any changes

in the class dynamic or way that students interact with each other since carrying out this lesson?

During Neilʼs 9 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 now 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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