Cyberbullying & Social Media

This toolkit explores cyberbullying and social media 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.

Cyberbullying and Online Harassment Information

Leaflets have been produced for young people, professionals and parents by the National Police Chief Council as part of it’s Child Centred Policing Approach – these can be accessed via the relevant link button below, along with more information, advice and resources accessible via the ‘Additional Resources’ button.

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 and facilitators 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 Cyberbullying 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 social media and the internet
  3. To develop understanding of what is cyberbullying, effects and associated laws.
  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 actions which amount to cyberbullying, the effects on victims and the laws used to deal with it.
  4. Learner knows of support services and help available and how to access it.

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 Media, given the significant links between the two. Some activity options can be re-visited after completing all the tasks/modules in the toolkit to provide evidence to the learning journey.

Any resources required to complete activities can be downloaded via the link buttons at bottom of this page

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 Media
  • Cyberbullying

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

Alternative options include the ‘Before & After Knowledge Sheet’ which combines social media and cyberbullying together as a quick and basic method to record the knowledge and understanding of individual learners before and after participating in these activities – or use 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 add points using different colour pen.

Social Media Activities

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

“Social media 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 Media Board Blast

Using an A-board or white board write SOCIAL MEDIA 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 media. Some guidance is included in the resource to support learners.

Guide learners to think about the following:

  1. Different social media 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 cyberbullying ‘getting started’ activities.

Cyberbullying Activities

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

“Cyberbullying is when someone uses a mobile device to be unkind others; things like sending mean emails or text messages, or posting mean comments, embarrassing pictures or videos”.

Activity 1: Cyberbullying Board Blast

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

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 cyberbullying. Some guidance is included in the resource to support learners.

Guide learners to think about:

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

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 cyberbullying, to increase awareness of language, understanding of meanings and how words impact on 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 the task activity are located at the bottom of this page.

Cyberbullying & Social Media Pairing Cards Activity

  • 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
  • Ensure 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, develop understanding and 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

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

Task 3: Words + Actions = Cyberbullying

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 cyberbullying and associated laws.

Activity Options

2 cyber-bullying activities with variations + participation options

1 x activity relating to cyber-bullying and the law

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

Resources required to complete Task 3 activities can be downloaded via the link buttons at bottom of this page

‘Be Kind’ Messaging Activity

  • 18 mini-screen message cards (mix of kind & unkind)
  • To discuss/decide which messages are kind/unkind and why; focusing on the feelings/impact on the recipient (kind and unkind) and possible consequences for 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 sharing 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 Worksheet Variation

Optional blank mobile phone screen worksheets for learners to create their own examples of kind/unkind words to include (write/draw) positive messages which tackle cyberbullying.

Double blank screen (worksheet 1) = 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 prevent cyberbullying.

Single blank screen (worksheet 2)= space to create examples of kind/unkind words, adding positive messages poster style or through art/words to prevent cyberbullying.

Consider these worksheets for work on anti-bullying or internet safety days/weeks to create a display.

Facilitator Notes:

  • Ensure learners understand how words affect feelings, both kind and unkind – providing explanations where necessary.
  • Remind learners of the sensitivity and appropriateness when expressing/creating examples of unkind words – consider setting boundaries to ensure a safe learning environment.
  • When complete, follow on with the Unkind Actions & the Law activity or move to Task 4.

Law Activity

Unkind Actions and the Law Activity

This activity builds on learners’ existing knowledge, and learning so far, by exploring law and the Acts most commonly used to deal with reports of cyberbullying; giving an insight in to the Acts to link them to offence examples of what people post/like/share online – helping learners understand laws associated to cyberbullying.

  • Malicious Communications Act
  • Communications Act
  • Protection from Harassment Act
  • Computer Misuse Act

The wording of these Acts has been slightly reworded in the activity to assist learners to better understand their meaning.

Resources required to complete this activity are located at the bottom of this page

Facilitator/educator answer reference sheet is provided

  • Unkind Actions and the Law worksheet is required
  • From the 4 Acts police most commonly use to deal with cyber-bullying, learners to discuss/decide which one may be used for each of the example police reports in the worksheet. Thinking about actions, impact and the Act 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

  • Additional option: learners to create their own police report and discuss/decide which Act would be used to deal with it.
  • 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 comments/posts made by others 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 police report links to a particular Act when discussing answers – looking at key words in the Act wording and linking them to relevant aspects of the police report examples.

Task 4: Signposting to Help and Support

Meets aim and learning outcome #4

Task 4 is a requirement of all Safe4me toolkits – it sets out to ensure learners are made aware of the various forms of help and support available to them specific to the subject covered, in this case cyberbullying and their social media/online lives.

In signposting learners to support services and trusted adults accessible to them, it is important to ensure they know how and where to find the support.

It is recommended that facilitators cover this verbally and visually where possible (i.e. show the relevant website and explain the type of support: explaining who the person to speak to is in school/the organisation; number to call police etc.).

Signposting to Support Options

Relevant resources, activities and links are provided here to assist facilitators with signposting learners to support, information and advice. Resource/activity links are located at the bottom of this page.

National Support and Advice Services for Children

Childline   Bullying UK    YoungMinds   Safetynet Kids

ThinkuKnow (8-10yrs)    ThinkuKnow (home)

Further information, advice and support for professionals, from dedicated local and national organisations and agencies, can be found in the Safe4me Services Directory and ‘Additional Resources’ section via the button located in the header section of this page.

Further information, advice and support for parents and carers can be found in the Safe4me parent section.

Finishing Up

The finishing up section revisits activities from the ‘Getting Started’ section to capture the learning from this Cyberbullying and Social Media toolkit.

Returning to the activity/resources used at the start covering this topic provides learners the opportunity to reflect and record what they have learned as per the option used:

Board Blast

Learners to revisit the original board blast sheets for CYBERBULLYING and SOCIAL MEDIA to add points or words they have learned (using different colour pens).

The completed sheets can be displayed as an ongoing learning visual as a reminder to learners about safe and responsible online behaviour.

Mobile Device Worksheet

Learners to revisit the worksheets to add things they have learned about cyberbullying and media, providing evidence of the learning and achievements of individual learners.

Again, once complete, these worksheets could be displayed as a visual reminder to learners about being safe and responsible online.

Before & After Knowledge Sheet

Learners to revisit the worksheet to complete the ‘AFTER’ section. Once complete, the worksheet provides a record to evidence the learning and achievements of individual learners.

Blank Mobile Device Worksheet

An option intended for facilitators and/or learners to create a bespoke starter activity – where this was chosen, revisit it to capture learning in a way that aligns with the original approach.

Once complete, this can provide evidence of the learning and achievements of individual learners.

Completed worksheets could also be displayed as a visual reminder to learners to stay safe and responsible online.

Reflection

Finishing up also encourages learner reflection on what has been learned, but as importantly, an opportunity to ask any questions they may have – an opportunity to seek clarity or discuss further having had time to digest the learning.

Recommendations to include in closing discussions include:

Revisiting definitions – asking learners what is cyberbullying and social media to confirm understanding.

Social Media……….

“Social media 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.”

Cyberbullying……..

“Cyberbullying is when someone uses a mobile device to be unkind others; things like sending mean emails or text messages, or posting mean comments, embarrassing pictures or videos”.

Testing Knowledge – based on the original guidance points from the ‘Getting Started’ section, consider these questions:

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

 

  1. Different social media sites/gaming and apps?
  2. Who they should/should not be engaging with online?
  3. Good and bad points of engaging others online?
  4. What to do to keep self and others safe online?
Peer Learning – Inviting learners to share something they have learned with their peers, opening class discussion and debate as way to confirm knowledge, learning whilst encouraging questions or clarification where needed.