A new lesson to teach cyberbullying for Anti-Bullying Week 2023

Get a look into the newest Digital Matters lesson for Anti-Bullying Week 2023
Display video transcript

Get ready for Anti-Bullying Week with a new lesson from Digital Matters.

‘Is it funny or is it hate?’ is split into two parts.

The first part uses quizzes and discussions to teach students about how jokes and banter can hurt — even among friends — and why laughing reactions might not always tell the whole story.

The second part features the story ‘Playing With Hate’, which stars Nia who faces hate in her favorite online game.

Students must help her make positive choices to tackle the hate and support her wellbeing while still having fun online.

At the end of the story, students can download their story summary to help them do the journey again at home with their parents.

In the teacher pack, you can find a range of lesson resources like a detailed lesson plan and teacher guide, curriculum links to other subjects, lesson slides and offline handouts to support your classroom needs.

Make a noise about bullying at internetmatters.org/digital-matters.

Anti-Bullying Week 2023 takes place from 13-17 November. This year’s theme is ‘Make a noise about bullying’.

To support teachers and parents, we’ve launched a new cyberbullying lesson from Digital Matters to teach 9-11-year-olds about the impact of words online.

What is Anti-Bullying Week?

Anti-Bullying Week is an initiative run by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It encourages teachers, parents and kids to take a stand against bullying.

At Internet Matters, we support the ABA and the role devices and technology can play in bullying.

This year’s theme is ‘Make a noise about bullying’. This year’s calls to action is to speak out when we see bullying — including words meant as banter or jokes. The ABA wants us to “come together to have discussions about what bullying means to us, how banter can turn into something more hurtful and what we can do to stop bullying.”

What to teach for Anti-Bullying Week

Digital Matters is a free platform full of resources for teachers, parents and students to teach and learn about online safety. It currently features 9 different lessons for teachers to choose from for Anti-Bullying Week 2023.

Sign up to get full access to all lesson materials including for our newest lesson, ‘Is it funny or is it hate?’

Is it funny or is it hate?

This new cyberbullying lesson from Digital Matters takes a look at the words we use and how things meant as jokes aren’t always funny.

As with all Digital Matters lessons, ‘Is it funny or is it hate?’ is divided into two parts: Interactive Learning and Once Upon Online.

Interactive quizzes and discussions

Interactive Learning works best in the classroom and closely follows the lesson plan available in the teacher’s lesson pack. Teachers must sign up with Digital Matters to access the lesson materials and scenario that supports this section.

The scenario features two friends, Devin and Jay, exchanging banter. When Devin makes the wrong ‘joke’, Jay feels hurt. However, Jay hides his hurt with a laughing emoji, so it isn’t until Devin’s mum gets a call that she even knows he was hurt!

Two smartphones showing screenshots of the Interactive Activity part of the 'Is it funny or is it hate?' cyberbullying lesson from Digital Matters.

It’s common for children to make jokes at others’ expenses, but they might not yet understand where limits lie. In Interactive Learning, teachers can lead discussions around the scenario, focusing on the impact of our words and why reactions don’t always tell the whole story. Students will also discuss different actions victims, bystanders and perpetrators can take to make things right.

Apply learning through storytelling

Once Upon Online features the story ‘Playing With Hate’, which stars Nia. In the adventure-style story, Nia joins a new online game and is shocked to see hateful words directed towards her. Students must help Nia (and her nain) make choices to support Nia’s time online.

Cover image for the Once Upon Online cyberbullying story from Digital Matters called Playing With Hate.

Throughout the story, students learn about reporting and blocking functions available in the games they play, community guidelines and where to get support. Students can help Nia reach out to her nain, call Childline, take a break and more to support her wellbeing and positive time online.

Teachers can use Once Upon Online directly after Interactive Learning, as a review for a previous lesson or as a homework activity for students to do with their parent.

How does Digital Matters support the curriculum?

Teachers can use Digital Matters in any way that suits them. Commonly, they use it in computing or PSHE (England) lessons. However, every teacher pack includes a curriculum links guide to a range of subject areas.

Use Digital Matters in English or Literacy lessons to teach reading comprehension and discussion skills. Or, you can use it in Health and Wellbeing or Relationships Education to teach positive behaviour, or digital literacy and computing lessons to understand the online space.

See an example of the teacher pack for more >>

More free resources for Anti-Bullying Week 2023

Explore a range of other resources for Anti-Bullying Week 2023 from Internet Matters. Teachers can access the quiz companion guides to help create lessons around quiz topics, or they can share resources with parents, carers and other educators.

Was this useful?
Tell us how we can improve it

Recent posts