Be a Buddy, Not a Bully

Lincoln Elementary School

I used this lesson last year with my most difficult students. It gave my students the strategies and coping skills they needed, especially when dealing with bullying and disrespect issues on the playground. After my students created “Respect” and “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” posters, I often saw the students reminding other students in our classroom what it means to be respectful, referring to their posters! I also observed many students using the strategies taught and modeled so explicitly from this lesson on a day to day basis in all areas of our school. I found this to be an extremely rewarding experience for myself and my students and hope that it will benefit your class and your school!

Students will identify the differences between respect and disrespect that can occur when someone is bullying.
Students will increase their social skills, as well as their character, by promoting “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” posters and role playing scenarios.
Students will use a variety of anti-bullying strategies that may be practiced at some point in all areas of the school building.
Skills Streaming scenario cards/Resource guide
Poster board or large construction paper
Colored pencils/crayons/markers
I show a video on bullying and respect, and lead my class discussion on what they noticed students were doing right or wrong. I ask questions like, “If you were in this same situation on the playground, and another person disrespected you, what would you do?”
Next, I list some of the different social skills and strategies the students could use whenever they witness bullying or a form of disrespect in any area, inside or outside of the school building. I model a “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” poster that I have made, or one that a former student created.
Next, I teach explicit examples of role modeling, using a few scenarios of bullying and disrespect, and give some more examples and explicit instruction on what my students should and should not do if ever in that situation. I then give my students “parts” and lead them into a role-play, involving various scenarios of bullying and disrespect, as well as having the students model what it means to be a buddy, not a bully. Then the students create the “Be a Buddy, not a Bully” posters, on which they need to include five ways to be a buddy, not a bully. Once the students finish, they present their “Be a Buddy, not a Bully” posters to the class, reviewing and closing each presentation with why it is so important to be a respectful person and a buddy to our classmates, and reminding the audience why bullying is not acceptable in our classroom, in our school, or at home.
A scoring guide may be used in grading the posters/advertisements.
Assessment could be a checklist if presented orally to a younger class.
Assessment could be a quiz with multiple choice answers to various bullying/disrespect or respect/buddy scenarios.
An informal assessment could be a teacher-made checklist, looking for five ways to be a buddy on the posters.
Could begin lesson with Bullying/Respect video (I used one from our school counselor)
The students can create a “Caught Ya” being respectful box, or a box for students all over school to submit situations where they witnessed or were a part of bullying or disrespect.
Teachers may type their posters, some students could draw what it means to “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully,” some may talk as the teacher or another student writes. A video by the K-3 grades could be done for the younger K-2 grades to watch before they complete this activity (on Buddy Day as we have at Lincoln Elementary, where a 5th grade student may work with a first grade student on this activity).
This also could be made to challenge students and could be turned into a communication arts writing project. This is a great lesson to make alternate ways available for your struggling students as well (typing, drawing or acting out for you orally) what it means to “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully.”
Becky Palazzola, Special Education Teacher, Lincoln Elementary School, Troy School District