A teenage girl in jeans sits on stone steps and checks her smartphone.
ELA
Grades
6-8

Stand By or Stand Up

What should we do about cyberbullying?

Project Summary

In this project, students discuss cyberbullying and learn about the issue through watching videos, engaging in online research, and reading informational text. (Optional: students also read fiction on the topic; one of a choice of young adult novels.) Students also learn about the Upstander/Bystander framework as they decide what to do about the issue. The class creates and conducts a survey of their peers to gather information about the extent and effects of cyberbullying in their school/community.

In phase one, students examine existing policies and resources in their school/district about cyberbullying. If no policy exists, students should find examples from other sources. Students individually write a piece of evidence-based argumentative writing to propose a new policy or improvements to the existing policy. In phase two, student teams take action of their choice to speak out against cyberbullying and advocate (to a public audience) for change.

Individually, students craft written proposals to present to school/district leaders, arguing for new or revised cyberbullying policies and making a specific evidence-based case for the content of those policies. In teams, students produce podcasts, videos, or social media campaigns, aimed at peers, younger students, or their community, advocating for a change in behavior and taking a stand against cyberbullying.

Note that the duration of this project may vary if you incorporate the reading of young adult novels into this project and will depend on the nature, complexity, and length of the texts students read.

Note: if you are implementing this project in the fall semester, consider leveraging the fact that October is National Bullying Prevention Month.