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A-Module 1 – Bullying Behavior

  • We will identify three key elements of bullying situations.
  • We will identify types of bullying behavior.
  • We will compare and contrast bullying and normal conflict.
  • We will recognize and explain the difference between bullying and normal conflict.
  • Write the following question on the board or piece of chart paper. “What is bullying?”
  • Ask students, “What is bullying?” As students respond, create a class list of key words and phrases they use to define bullying.


  • Show Clip 1 of Tommy being thrown in the water.
  • Ask students, “Is this bullying?” “Why?”
  • Ask students to provide their reasons. Underline or circle related words and phrases they repeat from the class list they created in the Getting Ready Activity. Add any new words and phrases they use to describe why the incident is bullying to the class list.

Show Clips 2A, 2B and 2C which will define the following key elements of any bullying situation or POP:

  • Purposeful: Bullying always involves purposeful behavior that is intended to cause physical or emotional pain or harm.
  • Ongoing: Bullying usually involves on-going and repetitive behavior.
  • Power imbalance: Bullying always involves an imbalance of power. The bully has more power. The power can be being older, bigger, more popular, stronger or from a dominant race or religion or a higher socio-economic group. The target is fearful.

After viewing Clips 2A, 2B and 2C have students review POP and ask if there are any questions regarding the key elements. Tie the elements to words and phrases on the class list created by students in the Getting Ready Activity and Activity 1.

Show Clip 3 which describes the different kinds of bullying behavior. Discuss the fact that bullying is not only physical. There are several types of bullying behavior.” Clip 3 will have the actors describe the following types of bullying:

  • Physical: Physical bullying is the easiest to identify. Examples are hitting, kicking, tripping, or taking or damaging someone else’s possessions.
  • Verbal: Verbal bullying includes threatening, name calling, insulting, telling demeaning jokes, spreading rumors, and gossiping.
  • Social Exclusion: Social exclusion is leaving someone out on purpose. Often the bully will get others to leave the target out also.
  • Cyber-bullying: Cyber-bullying is using technology to spread rumors or send hurtful messages, images, videos or photos that make fun of, embarrass or humiliate others.

After viewing Clip 3, ask if there are similar words that also appear on student generated list from the prior Getting Ready Activity.

Show Clip 4 which will show Tommy and Sarah having a normal conflict.

“Write the words, “Normal Conflict” on the board or on a piece of chart paper.
After viewing Clip 4 have students work in pairs to answer the following question, “Is this a bullying situation? If it is, explain how it has the POP elements? If it is not, what makes it different?”
Ask for pairs to share their responses. Write words and phrases the students use to describe normal conflict on the board or chart paper.
Review Hand Out 1 – Conflict.

What is Normal Conflict?
A dispute or disagreement where two parties see a situation from a different perspective
Both parties are willing to solve the problem
Both parties have equal power – there is no FEAR FACTOR
NOTE: We call this normal conflict because this type of conflict is a normal part of everyday life and learning to deal with normal conflict is an essential life-long skill.

Tie elements of normal conflict back to the Normal Conflict list created by the students after viewing Clip 4.
Ask students, “How could Tommy have done a better job handling the conflict?” Note that he could have listened to Sarah, remained calm and expressed his feelings. Taking time to cool off is important so that the parties avoid escalating the conflict.
Note: Solving normal conflict will be the focus of Module IV.


  • Give students Hand Out 2 – Elements of Bullying.
  • Students will review the following scenarios on Hand Out 3- Bullying or Normal Conflict and work in pairs to label each as bullying or normal conflict. If students identify a situation as bullying they will also identify the type of bullying represented.
  • This activity can also be done using cell phones or interactive whiteboard remotes.
  • Once students complete the activity, check each response by having the students listen to one of the actors share their response to the same scenario.
  • Show Clip 5 .
  • Students work in pairs or small groups to create scenarios that depict both bullying and normal conflict. Use student created scenarios to create another worksheet or poll. Ask students who created each scenario to provide an explanation of the correct response. If time permits, students could act out the scenarios.
  • Working in pairs or small groups students can use what they have learned about the elements and types of bullying to develop a definition of bullying. They may also create a poster depicting the definition to hang in the school or classroom.
  • Using the website, have students create a video that explains the difference between bullying and normal conflict. Students can use text, images, or even video clips from the movie to highlight these differences.
    Students can create a 30 second video for free, or teachers can get an Educator Account that allows for longer videos. After videos have been completed, use a QR Code generator to create links to the video, and put the QR Codes on posters around the school for other students to scan and watch. (
  • Students can create a PowerPoint or a Google Presentation that reviews POP to educate younger students about bullying. Each component of POP (Purposeful, Ongoing, Power) should have three slides. Slide one should explain the meaning of the word, Slide 2 should give a situation that illustrates this concept, Slide 3, should illustrate what it is not. Example: Slide 1- Ongoing means that behavior happens over and over again. Slide 2- What It Is: Billy continues to pick on Mark because of his clothing is from a discount store. This is ongoing because it happens more than once. Slide 3- What It Isn’t: Jessica stops Brittney in the hall and tells her that her sweater is ugly and looks cheap. This isn’t ongoing because it is a one-time incident. These presentations could be shown to younger students to explain bullying behavior.
  1. Calvin Coconut : Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury ©2009 Yearling (160 pages) In his home in Hawaii, Calvin begins fourth grade and immediately becomes entangled with the school bully, while simultaneously handling change at home as a 15-year-old girl moves into his home. (First in a series)
  2. Reaching Dustin by Vicki Grove ©1998 Putnam (208 pages) A sensitive, compassionate story about how understanding can change perception. Sixth-grader Carly is assigned to interview the school bully, Dustin, a boy from a dysfunctional, scary family with a reputation that keeps everyone away. After finding out some of the truth about Dustin, including his mother’s suicide and the fact that he is hiding from someone, Carly comes to the realization that he needs someone to take an interest in him. Readers are reminded not to judge too quickly.
  3. The Wild Kid by Harry Mazer ©2000 Aladdin (112 pages) Told entirely in the voice of Sammy, a 12-year-old with Down syndrome, this is the story of the initial meeting between Sammy and Kevin, a tough runaway, and the interaction that follows over the next two weeks. Kevin (who appears on the scene by stealing Sammy’s bike) and Sammy become “friends” and surprising advocates for one another. Although the ending does not resolve Kevin’s situation which involves abuse, it is a story worth reading.