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Grade Levels: 5-6
This activity would be most effective if delivered in four one-hour sessions.

Before beginning this activity, watch the video listed below or preview the clips on the Web. Also, set up the chairs in a semi-circle so that every child can view the television.

Students will need:
  • Lined paper
  • Pencils
  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Rulers
  • Stapler
  • Scrap paper
  • Dictionary
Group leader will need:
  • The video KEEPING KIDS HEALTHY "Youth Violence," or the ability to show the digitized clips on a TV or projector
  • Television with VCR
  • Large chart paper
  • Markers
Academic Goals
Children will:
  • practice literacy skills by viewing film clips and taking in information
  • participate in dialogue to gain understanding of teasing and bullying
  • take notes
  • complete entries for a handbook
Social Goals:
Children will
  • have opportunities to work in small groups, as teams
  • brainstorm ideas and share information within a group and across groups
  • identify specific strategies to combat teasing and bullying

Icebreaker (20 minutes)
  1. Ask the kids to think about one thing they would each like to change about themselves and explain why. If children are reluctant to share, you, as the leader, should go first. Be sure your example is something that you have been teased about by your peers.

  2. After all children have had a turn to speak, ask each person to share one thing they really admire about someone else in the group. Then ask them to explain why.
Activity 1

Identifying Fears (30-45 minutes)
  1. Tell the children that they are going to see a video clip about a 14-year-old boy who lives in Newark, New Jersey. His name is Keith Williams and he is a student at Hawthorne Middle School. Ask the kids to make a note of all the negative things that they notice in the video.

  2. Video Clip

    Youth Violence and the Effects
    If you can't show the clip from the Web, cue the tape to where Keith Williams reads the title of a paper he is holding: "The Causes of Youth Violence and the Effects." End the clip when Keith says "Become a student against violence. Advocate your love. It turns your bronze and silver into gold." Remind the kids to identify some of the negative things he talks about. Record their answers on chart paper. Once someone has mentioned teasing and or bullying, try to keep children centered on discussing that topic. Record children's views and comments on teasing and bullying.

  3. Ask the children to define teasing and bullying. Then ask them to give examples. If the kids have questions about whether a certain behavior or situation qualifies as bullying, have them write those down, too, and explore why those situations were distressing or made them feel uneasy. Children should come up with working definitions of teasing and bullying. Have one of the children write their definitions on chart paper. Then read the dictionary definitions and have another child write them under the children's definitions.

  4. Ask your children to identify places or a situation where they have been teased or bullied. Number each response. Limit answers to no more than eight. Then ask the question: "If you are being teased or bullied, do you think you are safe?" Allow the group to discuss this question. Make sure your children explore what types of fears they have by asking them to explain their opinions. Sample questions are:

    • What happened when were you teased/bullied?
    • How did the bully threaten you? What words did the bully use and how did he or she say them?
    • How did you feel when this happened to you?
    • Why was this situation unsafe for you?

  5. Explain to the children that any time they do not feel safe, they should go tell an adult whenever possible. When their safety is at stake, an adult should step in and support the child. An adult may not always be at the scene, so it is the child's responsibility to involve an adult who can assist.

Activity 2

Role Play (30-45 minutes)
  1. Look at each response given by the children. Have the children vote on two scenarios they would like to play out in a role-playing exercise. Ask for at least six volunteers. Each role-play should consist of three children. Assign one scenario to each group of three.

  2. Each group has five minutes to come up with a skit dealing with their chosen situation. Ask the children who are not participating in the role-play skit to brainstorm about dealing with the other situations listed on the chart paper.

  3. When the role-play volunteers are ready to perform in front of the class, all other work should stop. Instruct the seated group to observe and write down suggestions about how to deal with the situations. When the role plays are completed, be sure to encourage the children to applaud themselves. Encourage all children to think about different ways to address the issue. Let children know that later they are going to make a handbook to help kids learn how to deal with teasing and bullying, and that they may use these strategies and others in their handbook entries.

  4. Ask each child to find a space at a table. Tables should be set up to accommodate equally distributed groups. For example, if there are 24 children, you can have six groups of four.

Activity 3

Creating Strategies to Stay Safe (45 minutes to one hour)
  1. Choose three children to distribute paper and pencils. Tell the children that they will be watching a video clip about a school that dealt with teasing and bullying and that they are to identify the strategy used to solve the problem in the video and then write it down.

  2. Video Clip

    Social decision-making
    If you can't show the clip from the Web, cue the tape to the part where Erin Bruno says "School 41 in Jersey City is doing the social decision-making program." End the tape after she says "so developing our children's awareness in themselves, their feelings, their emotions and the feelings and the emotions of the other people they're involved in and working with."

  3. Ask one of the kids to identify the strategy described in the video and why she/he thinks that strategy was used to solve the problem. Ask the children to identify who the problem-solvers were.

  4. Ask the children if they have ever been mentors or mediators and, if so, describe how they helped someone through a conflict. They should write a draft of their strategy on their scrap paper. If a child has never mediated a conflict, that's okay. He or she can create a new strategy that he/she thinks would work. Allow 10 minutes for the children to create a strategy

Activity 4 (45 minutes)
  1. When time is up, have the children exchange their papers and read each other's work.

  2. The kids will then share their strategies and what they liked about the strategies the others came up with.

  3. Next, ask for three volunteers to design a cover for a handbook on how to deal with bullying and teasing. Give them materials for a book cover (construction paper, glue, markers, etc.). While they are creating the cover, other children should be exchanging and reading each other's work.

  4. When the cover has been completed, bind the sheets together in a book by stapling them together or by using a hole-punch and putting them in a binder.

Follow-up Activities
  • Children can use computers to type individual entries and add illustrations.
  • Plan a special event to present the book and share strategies. Invite other children in your program, parents and community members.


This AFTERSCHOOL EXCHANGE activity was developed by Esther Grant-Walker, Afterschool Program Coordinator at the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, based on the KEEPING KIDS HEALTHY episode "Youth Violence."

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