EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY

R7: High School Superhero – From negative to positive

 

 

 

 

 

AREAS COVERED:

Preventing, Responding

AREAS OF SEL:

Relationship skills, Self-awareness, Self-management, Social awareness

AUDIENCE:

Ages 11-13

OVERVIEW

Timing: 55 minutes

Learning outcomes: learners will be able to…

  • Understand how cyberbullying can be challenged through positive use of language.
  • Evaluate the benefits and risks of intervening in a cyberbullying situation.

Key vocabulary: language, banter, negative, positive, intervene, challenge, upstander, bystander, benefits, protect, risks, support.

Resources: Google Slides, High School Superhero game.

Key questions:

  • How would you challenge someone expressing hurtful or harmful views…
    • …offline?
    • …online?
  • If you saw someone being verbally bullied, would you intervene?
    • How would you intervene offline?
    • How would you intervene online?
  • What are the benefits of intervening or being an upstander?
  • What are the risks of intervening?
    • How do these risks differ between online and offline?
  • What could be the outcome of successfully intervening? (What would you like to see happen next?)
  • What advice do you have for safely challenging cyberbullying?
  • What advice do you have for someone who wants to help but doesn’t feel they can directly challenge a bully?

The digital educational tool that accompanies this activity will be available from August 2022 onwards.
Please see this video for a brief explanation of the tool.

Download the activity’s PowerPoint presentation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starter activity (10 minutes)

Flipping the negatives

Explain to learners that this session will focus on strategies to respond to cyberbullying through positive language use.

Ask your learners to consider the negative words and phrases that a cyberbully may use towards someone else.

For each word/phrase they think of, ask learners to ‘flip’ the language and rewrite it in a positive form e.g. “You are ugly!” could change to “You look amazing!”

Learners should record these positive words/phrases as a list, which can be used in the main activity.

Activity (30 minutes)
Be a High School Superhero!

Introduce the High School Superhero game to learners and explain the premise – the player must travel around a high school, changing negative speech to positive, and removing bullying graffiti. Please refer to this guide on how to use and play the High School Superhero game.

Explain to learners that their focus for this session is on the ‘changing speech’ task in the game, rather than removing graffiti. Using their list of positive language, learners should replace the negative words in the game with positive words/phrases. Learners may find that they have to consider new words/phrases that aren’t on their list but would be the best possible response.

Reflection (15 minutes)

After playing the game, discuss with learners their thoughts on this technique of flipping negative language to positive:

  • Did flipping the language work?
  • Would asking/telling/reasoning with a bully to change their negative words to positive words work – online or offline? Why/why not?
  • Do you see any issues in changing someone else’s words, even if they are unkind or hateful?
  • How could you use this technique of flipping language online? (e.g. respond to a negative message with a positive one.)
  • How might your positive behaviour have an effect on other users? (e.g. the bully, the target, other users who witness the cyberbullying.)

Discuss how intervening in a bullying situation might have an impact:

  • What are the benefits of intervening or being an upstander?
  • What are the risks of intervening?
    • How do these risks differ between online and offline?

Finally, ask learners to consider the advice they would give to:

  • Someone who wants to safely challenge cyberbullying (e.g. don’t retaliate, keep it positive, consider when and how to step away).
  • Someone who wants to help but doesn’t feel they can directly challenge a bully (e.g. using reporting tools, taking a screenshot of the evidence, seeking help on someone else’s behalf).