Impactful Activities to Get Students Talking About Bullying

Starting meaningful conversations about bullying can be tricky depending on the students you’re working with and their particular experiences. Some students may be hesitant to share right away, so I’m always looking for non-threatening ways to start conversations with my students so that they feel safe and comfortable talking about the topic. I try to get students out of their seats and give them creative outlets to share about bullying. This year, I used five activities that really got my students talking and listening to one another. Keep reading to find my 5 tried and true bullying prevention activities that I used for classroom guidance this year.

Looking for bullying prevention activities to get  your students engaged with one another in meaningful ways? You'll love these 4 activities for bullying classroom guidance lessons in your school counseling program! -Counselor Keri

6 Bullying Prevention Activities for Classroom Guidance Lessons

1 – 4 Corners

One activity that really got my students talking this year was four corners. It didn’t require discussion to actually share experiences in the beginning, but after completing the activity, the students really opened up.

Here’s how to do it: Hang posters in the corners of your room that say, “It happened to me,” “It happened to someone I know,” “I did it to someone,” and “I’ve never seen it happen.” Have students stand in the center of the room. Read statements about bullying, such as “Someone has made a fake profile and sent me multiple messages that were hurtful.” Students will then walk to the corner of the room that best represents their personal experiences. Remind students after they walk to look around and notice who is with them or where others are.

Debrief afterward to give students a chance to share about the experience. What was it like to walk to the “it happened to me” corner? How did you feel seeing people in that corner? What was it like to walk to the “I did it to someone” corner? How did this experience change the way you think about the impact of your actions?

2 – Start a Debate

Get your students thinking critically and sharing about their experiences with a debate. One debate that took us into a meaningful discussion was this: Should schools be involved in instances of cyberbullying on social media? My students brought up great points about privacy, freedom of speech and how cyberbullying can affect academic performance at school.

You can have students create 2 facing lines to start this discussion. If at any point students change their stance, they can simply switch to the other line. For a twist to add even more critical thinking, ask students what their opinion is before the debate. Then, have students argue for the opposite side.

3 – Centers

I had my students cycle through centers to discuss different aspects of bullying. They considered scenarios to talk about if they were or were not bullying. They also shared what they would do in given scenarios. This gave students a chance to warm up together with 2-3 peers and then decide when they were ready to share their personal experiences. As students worked in small groups, I overheard throughout the room things like, “Well, this happened to me and this is how I handled it…” Being in small groups gives students an opportunity to take smaller risks in sharing their experiences while learning from one another.

Looking for bullying prevention activities to get  your students engaged with one another in meaningful ways? You'll love these 4 activities for bullying classroom guidance lessons in your school counseling program! -Counselor Keri

4 – In a Perfect School…

To learn more about your students’ experiences, have them write a short narrative, poem, song, or rap or create a piece of art to describe a perfect school environment. They can describe what school would be like without bullying, how they would feel, how students would relate to one another and more. Students can share in small groups or with the whole class.

Be sure to debrief afterward to give students a chance to share their reactions to one another’s experiences. My students shared some really impactful words with their peers like, “I never knew you went through that.” I even heard some say, “How can I help you get through this?”

5 – Children’s Books

To wrap up my bullying unit this year, I had my students write children’s books about bullying. They had to show through the story that they knew what bullying was (not just mean behavior!) and at least 3 positive ways to deal with it. The stories they wrote were beautiful, creative, and impactful and started great conversations with peers about their own experiences.

Looking for bullying prevention activities to get  your students engaged with one another in meaningful ways? You'll love these 4 activities for bullying classroom guidance lessons in your school counseling program! -Counselor Keri

6 – Daily Conversations

Discussions about bullying don’t have to be limited to one lesson or one week. Start a purposeful conversation during morning assemblies, classroom morning meetings, or journal prompts. If your school recognizes October as Bullying Prevention Month, use these (free) daily conversation starters to get students thinking about bullying, prevention, and spreading kindness.

Looking for bullying prevention activities to get  your students engaged with one another in meaningful ways? You'll love these 4 activities for bullying classroom guidance lessons in your school counseling program! -Counselor Keri

What are your favorite bullying prevention activities? How do you get your students engaged in meaningful conversations? Let me know your favorite activities in the comments section!

Looking for bullying prevention activities to get  your students engaged with one another in meaningful ways? You'll love these 4 activities for bullying classroom guidance lessons in your school counseling program! -Counselor Keri
Looking for bullying prevention activities to get  your students engaged with one another in meaningful ways? You'll love these 4 activities for bullying classroom guidance lessons in your school counseling program! -Counselor Keri

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