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Saying No to Cyberbullying

6-7 yrs old

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

Digital Literacy

Reading and Writing

Social and Emotional Health

Students read a Minecraft book with a cyberbullying theme, then do activities to keep them safer online.

avatar Submitted By: Danica Davidson

January 25, 2019

Skills

  • Character
  • Citizenship
  • Communication

External References

Kids Against Bullying

A kid-friendly site that teaches about cyberbullying.

Learning Objectives

  • To help kids understand cyberbullying, know when to ignore it and when to report it, and to not engage in cyberbullying behaviors themselves.

Guiding Ideas

Students read Attack on the Overworld, a Minecrafter novel aimed for ages 7-12. It can be done in class, possibly with the help of the audio book, so that students can read or listen along. Attack on the Overworld is the sequel to Escape from the Overworld, which has its own literary lesson plan. In this book, Stevie, an 11-year-old Minecraft boy with a portal to Earth, first learns what cyberbullying is when his Earth friend is being bullied online. The cyberbullies end up hacking into Minecraft (Stevie’s world) and turning it to eternal night. While the cyberbullying here sometimes involves fantasy, it opens the doors to let kids talk about cyberbullying safely while also enjoying a book about Minecraft. After the book is read, the teacher can guide the students through some activities. All activities can be tweaked, as needed, to make them the best fit for individual classrooms.

Student Activities

One or more of the following activities could be done:

  • Discuss what cyberbullying means. Ask students if they’ve ever experienced it or know someone who has. Listen to their stories. Let students know if they’re scared or hurt, it’s okay to tell an adult. Also let them know that sometimes it’s just best to walk away from cyberbullying. Cyberbullies often want to get a rise out of people — so not engaging with them can sometimes be best. That can especially be the case if they’re being cyberbullied by an anonymous person who has no real connection to their lives. If they’re being cyberbullied by someone they know, ignoring it can be harder and reporting it might be the best way to get results. Any cyberbullying that could be dangerous — like threatening to hurt someone or putting a person’s private information online — should always be reported. If kids are confused about the best way to respond, it’s okay to ask an adult and show them what’s going on.
  • Talk to students about how they can be respectful online. Sometimes people say really hurtful things and don’t realize they’re being hurtful. In other words, not all cyberbullies realize they’re cyberbullies! Let’s say a kid is talking to someone online, and the other person says something the kid doesn’t agree with. The kid could respectfully disagree instead of name-calling or bugging the other person.
  • At one point in the book, the character Destiny waffles on being a cyberbully. She used to be one, but now feels bad about it. She says, “My mom used to tell me famous quotes about people’s different opinions on destiny, and one said, ‘Destiny is choice, not chance.’... A lot of things happen to us because of chance, I think... but now I realize it might also mean I can choose what actions I take and my destiny will follow.” When you get to this point in the book, ask the students what Destiny means by this. How can kids, even when they’re in an unfair situation, choose the best way to rise above it?
  • Talk to students about how it can also be good to stand up for people they see being cyberbullied. Sometimes just having one ally can make a difference.
  • As a class, students and teacher can write a pledge on how they want to act online. It can be a list such as (1) be respectful, (2) don’t let cyberbullies ruin my day, (3) find the websites that are fun/helpful as opposed to ones that just give negative experiences. Students can also draw pictures on their pledges.
  • For something a little more creative, kids can write their own story about what they would do if they’re Stevie (or any other character in the book) and they have to deal with cyberbullies. What might they say as Stevie to the two cyberbullies?  (If students want to put lots of magic and zombies in this story, too, I’d encourage the creativity!) Feel free to have students illustrate their stories. Or, they could write their own Minecraft-themed stories involving cyberbullying.

Performance Expectations

  • Read Attack on the Overworld.
  • Through discussions or creative activities (or both), help students solve some of the mysteries around cyberbullying so they can feel more empowered and safe online.

Skills

  • Character
  • Citizenship
  • Communication

External References

Kids Against Bullying

A kid-friendly site that teaches about cyberbullying.