This set of activities, meant to be completed within 2-3 class periods, focuses on practicing empathy, bullying identification and prevention, community development, and safe intervention strategies. The unit begins with a journal prompt, followed by a survey assessing the likelihood of whether they would intervene in various difficult scenarios.
Next, they will form groups to write a script displaying their assigned scenario. Audience members take notes on each performance (noting facial expressions, body language, and language tone). Once all groups have finished presenting, students finish their response sheets and, if time allows, share their insights (either as a class, partner, or triad).
The creative writing piece is the homework assignment, a first-person diary entry of a mistreated character from the presentations. Students who wish to present their diary entry creatively (using music, Power Point, dance, visual aides, or other technology) can do so for extra credit. The survey is re-distributed, and students reflect on their initial responses. The unit concludes with a short video clip, and students brainstorming safe intervention strategies using their list of resources.
*Sensitive topics will arise with this lesson, so a safe environment is crucial. The purpose of this unit is to expand students’ perspectives and to practice empathy. While our ultimate hope is that a greater good can be achieved, that standing up to bullies will end their cruelty, we absolutely need to assess risk and remain safe at all times. Creators of this lesson and instructors who employ it are not liable in any form for any injury or consequences sustained from attempts at using empathy and intervention.