What is bullying?
The national definition of bullying for Australian schools says:
- Bullying is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.
- Bullying can happen in person or online, via various digital platforms and devices and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). Bullying behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time (for example, through sharing of digital records).
- Bullying of any form or for any reason can have immediate, medium and long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders. Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.
Bullying has three main features:
- It involves a misuse of power in a relationship
- It is ongoing and repeated, and
- It involves behaviours that can cause harm.
- What is bullying? Year 3/4 Fact Sheet
- Other year level definitions: https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/Resources/FactSheets/Pages/For-students.aspx
Activities to show the effect of bullying
2 Apples by Relax Kids Tamworth
- I introduced the children to two apples (the children didn’t know this, but before the class I had repeatedly dropped one of the apples on the floor, you couldn’t tell, both apples looked perfect). We talked about the apples and the children described how both apples looked the same; both were red, were of similar size and looked juicy enough to eat.
- I picked up the apple I’d dropped on the floor and started to tell the children how I disliked this apple, that I thought it was disgusting, it was a horrible colour and the stem was just too short. I told them that because I didn’t like it, I didn’t want them to like it either, so they should call it names too.
- We then passed another apple around and started to say kind words to it, ‘You’re a lovely apple’, ‘Your skin is beautiful’, ‘What a beautiful colour you are’ etc.
Full description of lesson- click here
Piece of Paper- source unknown
- See picture for description of activity
A Torn Heart
Each student cuts out the shape of a heart. Read this script “The Torn Heart” or a book about bullying. As the teacher reads the story to the class, students rip a piece of the heart when the story says something negative about the main character. After reading the story, have a discussion about what the activity represents. There are also some questions at the end of the script/story “The Torn Heart”. Credit: Operation Respect, Inc. and Educators for Social Responsibility.
“Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud
“The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig
Click here for more books with a focus on social and emotional learning.
Recognising strengths in themselves and others
- Identify strengths in videos, comic strips, picture book characters
- Practice recognising strengths in themselves and others when doing team challenges and games
- Gratitude Journal- students record three things every day that they are grateful for.
Perspective- seeing someone else’s point of view
- Describe the thoughts and feelings of Woody and Buzz in the above video. Consider the video from two points of view.
- Describe/compare the thoughts and feelings of Woody and the toys in the moving van.
- Toys’ perspective: Woody pushes a toy off the moving van.
- Woody’s perspective: He is trying to save Buzz.
Other resources to consider different perspectives:
- Picture books and fairy tales.
- Comic strips, eg.
Here are some videos/resources I have used as a stimulus for learning experiences to practise kindness, respect, and empathy.
***Watch first, to check if these are appropriate for your class.
Click here for background information about the below video (Ian’s story).
Quotes students could respond to and/or make connections
More good resources:
- ReachOut https://au.reachout.com/everyday-issues/bullying
- Bullying No Way: https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/
- NSW Department of Education: videos https://antibullying.nsw.gov.au/for-students/upstanding-videos
- NSW Department of Education: resources https://antibullying.nsw.gov.au/educators/resources
- Is it bullying? Click here for pdf.