If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned what to do if they encounter cyberbullying and completed a drawing assignment about cyberbullying prevention.
Part of the lesson includes discussion and a drawing assignment using the term “BART Smart”. BART stands for:
- Block the person exhibiting bullying behavior
- Alert an adult
- Resist responding
- Take the high road.
Getting Ready for the Conversation
Cyberbullying is a serious problem (and in some cases a crime) that students need to be prepared to deal with at a young age. This print lesson provides students with a realistic plan for the actions to take if a student becomes a target of cyberbullying behaviors.
Conversation Starters and Practice at Home Activities
The first item is for follow-up after participating in class.
Describe each of the four steps in BART. Describe some examples of each.
Who are the adults you should tell if someone targets you for cyberbullying?
Describe some examples of appropriate interactions on the internet. Describe some examples of cyberbullying behavior.
Do our internet use rules make everyone in the family safe? Why or why not?
School to Home Resources on B.A.R.T. Smart
- Board/chart to write acrostic BART
- Drawing paper
- Coloring supplies (crayons, markers, pencils, etc.)
- BART Worksheet (optional)
- In a remote environment, meeting software will need to have “breakout room” or similar function enabled allowing for small group discussions and handouts will need to be shared with student groups by email or chat function
No video accompanies this lesson.
1. Begin class by asking students to define cyberbullying: when a person keeps sending online mean or cruel messages, pictures, or videos to another person, usually anonymously (with no name attached). The cyberbullies might call the person cruel names, spread rumors, threaten or scare the person, or make them very uncomfortable.
2. Discuss reasons people choose to cyberbully others. Some answers might include:
- It’s easy to do when your identity remains a secret.
- You can say things on a screen that you’d never say face-to-face.
- You can get lots of other people to join in.
- You can join other people and feel popular, tough, or cool.
- Adults usually don’t find out about it.
Direct Instruction (I do):
1. To illustrate what to do if you are cyberbullied, tell the story of BART. When it comes to the section where his dad writes the letters of his name, write the letters and phrases on the board/chart.
Bart was very upset and did not know what to do. Somebody was sending him horrible, mean text messages on his smart phone, saying things like: “Stupid head!” “You are so ugly you break mirrors.” “Where do you get those ugly clothes? The dump?” And other people were included on the texts! He could see the phone numbers but he did not know what kids the numbers belonged to.
These texts made him feel like he had no friends, that nobody liked him, that he just couldn’t do anything right.
But the worst one arrived tonight. Tears fell down his cheeks as he read, “Nobody wants you around.
You should run away.”
Just then, Bart’s dad walked by his room.
“What’s wrong, Bart? And don’t say ‘nothing.’ I see your tears and the phone in your hand.”
Bart showed his dad the texts and whispered, “I don’t know what to do. The mean texts just keep coming.”
Bart’s dad hugged him and said, “You know it’s not your fault, don’t you, Bart? You did nothing wrong. The people sending these texts are bullies—cyberbullies. And look at all these other numbers—lots of people are joining. They might not be adding any texts, but they are not doing anything to stop the others.”
“What do I do, Dad? How do I make it stop?” Bart asked.
His dad gave him a warm smile and said, “Be B.A.R.T. Smart.”
“B.A.R.T. Smart! Use the letters in your name! B-A-R-T! Let me show you!”
Dad drew the letters B-A-R-T down the left side of the paper.
“B stands for ‘Block the bully.’ We are going to block all of these phone numbers so your phone will not accept any of their texts. This is like turning off the switch.
“A stands for ‘Alert an adult.’ This is important! You should always tell an adult when something hurts you or when you are frightened or bullied. And you did—you told me.
“R means ‘Resist responding.’ Do not text anything back to the cyberbullies. It only makes things worse. You didn’t, did you?”
“No, Dad, I didn’t. Not ever.”
“Good, because that brings us to the last letter, the T,” his dad continued.
“T stands for ‘Take the high road.’ That means be the better person, and find a way to do the right thing. All you have to do is just be Bart. Be yourself and be B.A.R.T. Smart.”
Guided Exploration (We do):
1. Review the steps Bart’s Dad said to take to be BART Smart. Have students give examples of what Bart did or needed to do to deal with the cyberbullies.
- Block the bully
- Alert an adult
- Resist responding
- Take the high road
2. Ask students what else they would have done if they were in Bart’s situation. Allow students the opportunity to identify and discuss the adults in their lives they could approach if they needed help with a cyberbullying situation.
Independent Practice (You do):
1. Tell students they will create illustrations to help them remember what to do if they are cyberbullied. Give each student a piece of drawing paper and have them select one of the letters from BART’s name, write the phrase, and draw a picture to illustrate the phrase.
2. Post their pictures around the room to remind them of the steps and let them know that you will always support them.
Review the themes of the lesson and encourage students to tell you the steps they should take if they are cyberbullied. Impress upon students that if they are bullied, the most important thing they should do is alert an adult they trust.