Cyber Bullying & Social Media

This toolkit explores cyber bullying and social media use together, linking themes and building on learning through a step-by-step approach, looking at language, actions and the law to help nurture the skills, empathy and resilience required to use social media safely and responsibly.

Although aimed at KS2 (primary age), all resources in this toolkit are designed to be adaptable to meet individual needs, age and ability, and be flexible to use in one or over multiple lessons.

Cyber Bullying information leaflets for young people, professionals and parents can be accessed via the relevant link button below, with more information, advice and resources located in the ‘Additional Resources’ section via the link button below.

Please be reminded that Safe4me is NOT a standalone resource – it is designed to support educators with delivering information to learners specific to risk, law and consequences on a range of topics, helping develop skills and understanding to make safe and responsible choices.

We ask that educators always refer to the information and advice set out in the Welfare Advice section before using Safe4me resources.

The aims and intended learning outcomes for the Safe4me Cyber Bullying and Social Media toolkit are set out below:

Aims

  1. To develop understanding of specific terminology related to social media and the internet
  2. To develop understanding of how to keep safe while using the internet and social media
  3. To develop understanding of cyber bullying, affects and the legal implications
  4. To develop knowledge of how and where to get support

Learning Outcomes

  1. Learner understands specific cyber-related terminology linked to social media and online activity
  2. Learner understands how to keep safe, recognising risks and warning signs
  3. Learner is aware of what cyber bullying is, associated affects and specific implications
  4. Learner knows of support services available and how to access them

Lesson Resources

Each of the 4 stages of learning aligns with each one of the aims and learning outcomes, providing users a flexible modular approach to delivering lessons.

Downloadable resources needed to complete each task can be found in the link buttons at the bottom of each tab. 

Setting the Learning Environment and Welfare

Safe4me recognises the importance of planning and preparing pupils for learning; please read the guidance below prior to using the resources to ensure the best possible learning experience and outcomes for pupils.

Welfare

  • Ensure pupils have been prepared prior to learning about the topic, being mindful of the nature and sensitivity of some subjects.
  • Reassure pupils that they are not expected to give real life experiences
  • Avoid personalising or directing questions i.e. ‘Has anyone ever seen/done/been affected by……’
  • Be aware of safeguarding regarding disclosures or concerns for welfare and safety.
  • Consider pupils who may wish to ask questions, express views or contribute in ways other than verbally i.e. a ‘post box’ in the classroom/school.
  • Explain procedure for leaving the class if pupils feel upset or uncomfortable i.e. where/who to go to.
  • Ensure pupils are aware of follow-on support; include staff in school and other services recommended in the additional resources section or Safe4me support services directory.
  • Consider follow-on work is planned to further develop the learning

Ground Rules

  • Set out boundaries: what is expected, what won’t be tolerated and any subsequent consequences
  • Introduce topic, explaining considerations needed when contributing i.e. feelings and values of others
  • Explain objectives, process, and the value of exploring the topic – allowing pupils time to prepare for learning
  • Explain the value of peer-learning through shared values, views and knowledge; highlighting the value of listening if choosing not to contribute verbally.

Getting started

The getting started section provides a choice of activities designed to capture base knowledge, break the ice and prepare pupils for learning about Cyberbullying and Social Networking. Some activity options can be re-visited after completing all the tasks/modules in the toolkit to provide evidence to the learning journey.

Activity options are given to offer flexibility to meet the needs and abilities of learners, these can be completed as a whole class, as part of a discussion, in small groups or as individuals. These are divided into two sections:

  • Social Networking
  • Cyber-Bullying

Each section provides either worksheet and board blast options, both aim to capture knowledge and understanding of what is cyberbullying and what is social networking.

Alternative options include the ‘Before & After Knowledge Sheet’ which combines social networking and cyber-bullying together as a quick and basic method to record individual learner knowledge/understanding before and after learning – or the mobile device blank sheet to create your own activity.

All activities can be re-visited by the learner to evidence their learning journey, i.e. learners can add points later using a different colour pen.

Social Networking Activities

The definition below can be used as an introduction/reference to support learners before or after activities.

“Social networking is a way of using your computer, mobile phone or other device to talk to other people, exchange pictures & videos and play games with others.”

Activity 1: Social Networking Board Blast

Using an A-board or white board write SOCIAL NETWORKING in the middle, inviting learners to provide examples of what they know, understand or would like to know relating to social networking.

Activity 2: Mobile Device Work Sheet

Using the mobile device work sheet (link at bottom of page), learners are asked to write or draw things they know (or would like to know) about social networking. Some guidance is included in the resource to support learners.

Guide learners to think about the following:

  1. Different social networking sites and apps
  2. Gaming sites where the user can communicate with others
  3. Who they can engage with online
  4. Good and bad points of engaging others online

Consider: inviting learners to share an example from their worksheet with peers.

Explain: Just as children can enjoy meeting and talking with others online, in some cases, this can sometimes be used as a way to be unkind to others.

When complete, move on to cyber-bullying ‘getting started’ activities.

Cyber Bullying Activities

The definition below can be used as an introduction/reference to support learners before or after activities.

“Cyber bullying is when someone uses the internet or a mobile phone to be unkind others; things like sending mean emails or text messages, or posting nasty comments or embarrassing pictures”.

Activity 1: Cyber-Bullying Board Blast

Using an A-board or white board write CYBER-BULLYING in the middle, inviting learners to provide examples of what they know, understand or would like to know relating to cyber-bullying.

Activity 2: Mobile Device Worksheet

Using the mobile device work sheet (link at the bottom of the page), learners are asked to write or draw things they know (or would like to know) about cyber-bullying. Some guidance is included in the resource to support learners.

Guide learners to think about:

  1. Types of cyber-bullying
  2. What makes communication unkind?
  3. How might this make others feel?
  4. What the law is relating to cyber-bullying

Consider: inviting learners to share an example from their worksheet with peers.

Alternative ‘Getting Started’ Activities

Before and After Knowledge Sheet: One per learner, complete section 1 before core learning and section 2 after.

Blank Mobile Device Work Sheet: To create your own activity i.e. design a poster or key message.

All Getting Started’ resources are accessible via the relevant link button below.

Once the ‘Getting Started’ preparation stage is complete, move on to task 1……

Task 1: Understanding Online Terminology

Meets aim and learning outcome #1

Task 1 aims to build on learners’ existing knowledge and learning from the ‘Getting Started’ activities by introducing common terms and words associated to social media and cyber-bullying, to increase awareness of language, understanding of meanings and how words influence positive and negative behaviour online.

Activity Options

1 x activity with delivery options – facilitator to choose preferred teaching method according to time, ability and learner needs.

Resources required to complete task activities are located at the bottom of this page.

Cyber-bullying & Social Media Pairing Card Game

  • 22 words and meanings cards (11 pairs)
  • Print out and cut into individual cards for matching
  • Option to complete task as individuals, in pairs, small groups or as a whole class activity.

Peer and wider group discussion is encouraged as part of this task, giving opportunity for all learners to contribute and to enable peer learning through questions, sharing of knowledge, views and values.

Individual Task

Each learner to have a copy of all 22 cards – when complete, pairings can be discussed with peers or as a whole group.

Small Group Task 

  • Provide each group a set of cards
  • Group to discuss/decide correct pairing of words & meanings
  • In turn, each group to share a paired example for discussion

Working in Pairs

Learners to discuss and complete the pairing task together – when complete, pairings can be further discussed in small groups by merging in pairs or as a whole group.

Whole Group Task

  • 1 set of pairing cards needed
  • 11 meaning cards to be folded and placed in a container
  • 11 word cards to be displayed (by learners or on board)
  • Learner (chosen/volunteer) to select a folded meaning card from the container and read out/show.
  • All learners together = discuss and decide the correct word the selected meaning is paired to.

Facilitator Notes

  • Confirm and explain the correct pairing from the answer sheet if not achieved
  • Seek to confirm learners understand words and meanings – explaining and clarifying where necessary
  • When complete, follow on learning with Task 2

Task 2: Using the internet and social media safely

Meets aim and learning outcome #2 

Task 2 aims to build on learners’ existing knowledge and learning from task 1 – exploring various online risks to raise awareness and understanding to help develop the skills needed to use the internet/social media safely and responsibly.

Activity options

1 x activity with 2 variations and delivery options + supporting materials – facilitator to choose preferred teaching method according to time, ability and learner needs.

Links to download required resources are located at bottom of page

S.M.A.R.T Challenge Activity

Using S.M.A.R.T as an acronym, learners explore elements of online safety and behaviour though a discussion and question challenge looking at: Safe, Meeting, Accepting, Reliable and Tell

  • S.M.A.R.T Challenge Worksheet without ‘Thinking Clues’
  • S.M.A.R.T Challenge Worksheet with ‘Thinking Clues’
  • Separate ‘Thinking Clues’ Sheet (optional/for variation)

Task can be completed as individuals, in pairs or as a group activity.

Peer and wider group discussion is encouraged as part of this task, giving opportunity for all learners to contribute and to enable peer learning through questions, sharing of knowledge, views and values.

Individual Task

Each learner to complete a copy of the worksheet – when complete, answers can be discussed with peers or as a whole group.

Working in Pairs

Learners to discuss and complete the worksheet together – when complete, answers can be further discussed in small groups or as a whole group.

Working in Small Groups

Option 1: In small groups, learners to discuss and complete the worksheet together. When complete, answers can be further discussed by merging smaller groups together or as a whole group.

Option 2: Separating whole group into 5 smaller groups

  • Each small group to be given 1 letter from the  S.M.A.R.T Challenge to focus on. (Option: provide separate ‘Thinking Clues’ sheet if using worksheet without clues).
  • Within their group, learners to discuss and answer questions set for their given letter.
  • In turn, groups to share answers to open wider discussion.

Facilitator Notes

  • Seek to confirm learners understand words and meanings – explaining and clarifying where necessary
  • When complete, follow on learning with Task 3

Task 3: Language and behaviour = Cyber-Bullying

Meets aim and learning outcome #3

Task 3 aims to build on learners’ existing knowledge and learning from tasks 2 and 3 by exploring words and actions which constitute cyber-bullying and associated laws.

Please refer to the information located within the Welfare Advice and introduction sections of this toolkit when planning use of the resources.

Activity Options

2 cyber-bullying activities with variations + participation options

1 x activity relating to the law

Facilitator to choose preferred teaching method according to time, ability and learner needs.

Links to download required resources are located at bottom of page.

‘Be Kind’ Messaging Activity

  • 18 mini-screen message cards (mix of kind & unkind)
  • To discuss/decide which messages are kind/unkind, why, how it might make the recipient feel and impact on the sender.
  • Options to complete task as individuals, in pairs, small groups or as a whole group/class activity.

Peer to peer and wider group discussion is encouraged as part of completing this task, giving opportunity for all learners to contribute and to enable peer learning through the sharing of knowledge, views, values and asking of questions.

Individual Task

Each learner to have a the messages worksheet to work through – deciding which messages are kind/unkind, why, feelings of the recipient and impact on the sender – when complete, can be discussed with peer(s) or wider group.

Working in Pairs

Learners to discuss and complete the task together – when complete, can be further discussed in small groups or wider group.

Small Group Task 

  • Provide each group with messages worksheet
  • Group to discuss/decide which are kind/unkind messages, why and effects on recipient/sender.
  • In turn, each group to share an example and their views – open to wider discussion.

Whole Group Task

  • Cut out the 18 individual messages to create separate cards
  • Divide board/visual area into 2 sections: kind and unkind or identify 2 areas of the room to represent kind and unkind.
  • Fold the 18 messages  and place in a container
  • Learner (chosen/volunteer) to select a card from the container and read out.
  • All learners together (according to option) = discuss/decide if message is kind/unkind to place on correct side of visual or move to stand in the corner they think describes the message.
  • Facilitator to open discussion as to why a message is kind/unkind and the impact it can have for recipient and sender.

‘Be Kind’ Blank Message Screen Variation

Additional resources comprising of blank mobile phone screens for learners to create their own examples of kind/unkind words to include (write/draw) positive messages which tackle cyber-bullying.

Full blank screen sheet (alternative option) = space to create examples of kind/unkind words, adding positive messages poster style or through art/words to reduce/stop cyber-bullying.

Double blank screen sheet (alternative option) = space to create examples of both kind/unkind messages, i.e. negative words on one screen, with alternative positive words translated on the 2nd screen, adding positive messages to reduce/stop cyber-bullying.

Facilitator Notes:

  • Confirm and explain the correct pairing from the answer sheet if not achieved
  • Seek to confirm learners understand words and meanings – providing explanations where necessary
  • When complete, follow on with Task 2

Law Activity

Unkind Comments and the Law Activity

This activity builds on learners’ existing knowledge, and learning so far, by exploring laws used to deal with cyber-bullying; giving a basic insight into offences linked to what people post/like/share online to help learners understand the lawful consequences.

Lawful definitions referred to in this activity have been amended to assist in understanding for younger learners.

Links to download required resources are located at bottom of page.

Facilitator answer and discussion reference sheet is provided

  • Unkind Comments and the Law worksheet is required
  • From the 3 laws police use to deal with cyber-bullying, learners to discuss/decide which one may be used for each of the unkind messages in the worksheet. Thinking about actions and impact, paying attention to the wording/key words.
  • This can be completed by individuals, in pairs, small groups or as a whole group/class activity. Encouraging further discussion, questions and sharing of views/values.

Facilitator Notes

  • Alternative examples of unkind messages may be used other than the ones in the worksheet.
  • Ensure learners understand wording and terminology throughout the task, explaining and clarifying where necessary
  • Ensure learners are aware that police can deal with children for any offences from age 10 years.
  • Explain that liking/sharing a comment made by another makes them an associate to bullying (adds to impact/severity)
  • Explain that bullying/cyber-bullying isn’t an offence in law, it’s the actions/words/behaviours which are the offence.
  • Ensure learners understand why the messages relate to a particular law when discussing the answers. Looking at key words in the law wording, comparing them to the message.