Ideas to Spread Awareness during Bullying Prevention Month

Bullying Prevention is such a vital topic to cover with your students. While I believe in implementing a proactive counseling program that establishes key character traits like kindness and empathy, I also believe in a preventative one that directly educates students on the harmful effects of bullying. Check out these activities you can use to spread awareness.

Reminder: If you’re reading this in October, it is Bullying Prevention Month!

Bullying Prevention Month Idea 1: Host a Fun Run

A fun run is a great way to promote Bullying Prevention Month! Have students pledge how many laps they want to run. If your budget allows, give a type of reward to students upon completion. This could be bracelets, stickers, pencils, temporary tattoos, etc. (Hopefully with a bullying prevention phrase on it!) Oriental Trading and Amazon likely have cheap options. You could collaborate with PE teachers to do the activity or do it at recess. I did this a few years ago and my upper elementary kiddos LOVED it! Tip: Keep track of the laps so you can share the grand total in the morning announcements or in a parent newsletter.

bullying prevention fun run

Bullying Prevention Month Idea 2: Videos

Another great way to start conversations around bullying is by sharing videos with students. Sharing bullying prevention awareness via videos is one of my go-to activities plus it's perfect for distance learning! Showing a short video is a starting point for deeper conversations and is a great way to get students engaged in the content.

Check out some of my favorites:

For the Birds

  • Who is it for: K-2

  • What's it about? This cute Pixar silent film shows how one bird who looks different than others. Because of his differences he is made fun of.

  • Why do I show it? Because there are no words in the video, students get to interpret the context of the film. Depending on age you can take the conversation in different ways to discuss themes of kindness, bullying prevention, etc.

The NED Show

  • Who is it for: 3-5

  • What's it about? This animated video introduces the term "up-stander" and gives students tips for standing up to bullies by being more than a bystander.

  • Why do I show it? The video gives students actionable strategies they can use to be assertive when in a bullying situation. They can use these strategies when sticking up for a friend or themselves.

Talent Show

  • Who is it for: 6-8

  • What's it about? This clip from Ad Council shows a girl saying terrible things about another student on stage in front of the entire school.

  • Why do I show it? This video is a little hard to watch, but the shock value keeps the kids attention and really gets them thinking about the power of their words.

Check out my Bullying Prevention Bundle here which includes a guidance lesson you can pair with the videos!

Bullying Prevention Month Idea 3: Games

Games are always a fun way to get students engaged in a topic. I believe they're so effective because they help kiddos let down their guard and have important discussions in a casual way. Bullying Prevention awareness is a sensitive topic to address and students can really start to understand it better by playing simple, fun games.

Role Play

Having students do a bullying prevention role play is a fun away to help them develop self-awareness and empathy. By putting themselves in the various roles they can better define bullying and practice ways to prevent it. Be mindful of who you are casting as the "bully" and "target". You do not want students to identify as being a bully or reinforce negative racial stereotypes. (ex: kids of color always being the bully) Be sure to alternate roles or choose randomly. You can have students draw names to see who will play each part and provide them with a scenario or have them come up with one on their own depending on their age. 

Board Games

Board games are my favorite way to use discussion cards and get students talking! Have students take turns rolling a die and answering questions regarding bullying prevention depending on which space they land on. (You could modify this to use virtually by hanging a game board behind you and using sticky notes as game pieces with a digital die.) Check out my bullying prevention board game here. 

Salad Bowl Charades

You may have not heard of this game, but it is so much fun! Students take turns describing and acting out different bullying prevention terms such as "bystander", "reporting", and "target" to their team. Understanding the vocabulary around bullying is an essential step to prevention. Limited time and limited words to choose from make these charades extra challenging and fun! Check out the game and see a video of how it is played here.

Bullying Prevention Month Idea 4: School-Wide Activities

School-wide activities are a great way to get everyone on the bullying prevention train! They take a little more planning because the whole school is involved, but you have that much more reach!

Try one of these ideas with your school:

Photo Booth: Have students take photos holding up bullying prevention signs. You could create ones to say things like "#antibully" or "Be a buddy, not a bully". Or take it to the next level by making them customizable! Students can fill in the blank on a dry-erase sign. (Ex: "I choose not to bully because_____.") You can make your own props or order inexpensive ones off of Amazon. They can even make a small donation to participate that you can use to donate to a bullying prevention organization in your community.

Virtual modification: Have students create and hold up their own signs to the computer and take a screenshot during a group Zoom call! You can then post it to your school website or feature it in your counseling newsletter.

Banners: Having students sign a banner for a cause is a great way to get everyone involved! Banners are simple yet effective as after they are signed you can hang them in the hallway, cafeteria, or gym as a visual reminder. This is super simple as all it requires is a box of markers and a sheet of butcher paper.

Want to switch it up? Have students write their pledge to be bullying-free on small strips of paper and assemble a paper chain. This serves as a symbol of unity and you can decorate an entire hallway with it!

Check out these bullying prevention school-wide activities to get you started.

Don’t forget to support the cyberbullies!

While we typically focus on supporting the targets of bullying and preventing bullying in general, even students who have bullying behavior need our support. Check out this this article and share with parents of students who you think may be inciting cyberbullying.

Hopefully, you can use one of these ideas to make an impact at your school. Leave a comment and let me know which one are you interested in trying!

 

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