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A-Module 3 – Upstanders

  • We will understand and appreciate the power of Upstanders
  • We will apply Upstander behaviors
  • Set up Dateline clips by explaining that the show hired actors to portray bullies and victims and set up these scenarios to see how kids would handle the situations.


  • Show Dateline Clips 9A and 9B (which show bullying happening) with an eye on how the other students are reacting to the bullying. “What types of bystanders do you see in these clips?” (Review Types of Bystanders.) Discuss how the bystanders behaved. “How do you think the bystanders and the targets felt?”
  • Turn and talk- Ask students to turn and talk about their response to these questions: “Have you ever been a bystander in a bullying situation? What actions do you take? How did it make you feel?” What happened? Ask volunteers to share responses.
  • In the previous lesson we decided that in our school, it is expected that we are Upstanders. Upstanders are interveners and reporters. What are some of the actions Upstanders can take?”(review “Be an Upstander” hand-out from Module II)
  • Now let’s see what really happened at the end of the last clip when one of the bystanders decided to take action. Show Dateline Clip 9C.
  • Let’s look at some other examples of Upstanders taking action. Show Dateline Clips 10A and 10B.
  • Guided Discussion
    1. What does the Upstander do?
    2. What impact does his/her behavior have on the rest of the bystanders? Emphasize that it only takes one person to stand up. Other like-minded bystanders who are also feeling empathy for the target then feel empowered to do the right thing. Emphasize the power of Upstanders and the impact of positive leadership.
    3. Why are we letting a bully stop us from doing what is right?
    4. What students do you admire most in the clips?
    5. Lead students to realize that in the long-run we admire and respect those who do the right thing.
    6. Review some of the reasons bystanders do not get involved.
    7. Emphasize that the “New Cool at Our School” is to do the right thing and be an Upstander.


  • Divide class into groups. Distribute one scenario script to each group Hand Outs 5A 5B 5C. Each group should work on finishing the script by having a character or characters take on the Upstander role(s).
  • Students should refer to the Be an Upstander hand out Hand Out 4 – Upstander as they brainstorm ideas.
  • If time permits, have groups act out their scenario. These can also be filmed and shared with other classes.
  • Display the following quote from MLK, “In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
  • Ask students to use this quote in a persuasive essay to encourage other students to become Upstanders.
  • Ask students to create their own quotes to describe the power of the Upstander. These can be hung around the classroom or school.
  • Compile student essays and create an ebook about being an Upstander. Students could include their persuasive essay, or write about a time when they were an upstander. The ebook can be turned into an HTML or PDF file, so that it can be printed and distributed, or featured on the school website.
  • Celebrate a class wide or school wide “Be an Upstander” day like these two students from Canada Pink Shirt Day. Ask students to dress alike to support the cause, and create virtual fliers using S’more describing the event and what it means to be an Upstander.
  1. Warp Speed by Lisa Yee ©2013 Arthur A. Levine Books (320 pages)Star Trek enthusiast, geek, son of a blind mother and a reclusive father, loser Marley Sidelski, a seventh grade boy who is so routinely beaten up by bullies that he cannot see a way out of the situation gets the help of an unlikely group and in unusual ways to manage his daily interactions with a group of bullies he calls “the Gorns” and make things work with Digger, the biggest bully of all. (Continuation of a series)