Take A Stand: Prevention of Bullying – Ages 11-12, Day 2

Take A Stand: Prevention of Bullying

11-12 year olds – Instructional Guide Day 2

By Sherryll Kraizer, Ph.D.



  • To reinforce elements of communication and comfort with speaking up
  • To introduce aggressive, passive and assertive behaviors
  • To role-play being bullied including group bullying
  • To introduce and role-play advocacy as a response to bullying


Teacher-Directed Discussion and Role-play

Who can tell me about bullying that you saw happening at school or at home in the past few days?  Remember no names.

Who knows the three elements of effective communication?

  • Eye contact
  • Words that express what you want to say
  • Body language consistent with what you want to say.

Communication is how we resolve problems.  It is important to understand your own responsibility for what you say and how you say it.  You have total control over that. 


Passive, Aggressive, Assertive Behaviors

Who knows what it means to be assertive?

Assertiveness is a behavior, a way of communicating.  When a person is assertive, s/he is directly communicating feelings, needs, or opinions without threatening or trying to manipulate another person.

By definition assertive behavior is appropriate.

The ability to be assertive is not something that we are born with.  It is something we learn to do.


The three general ways of behaving are: 

  • Aggressive behavior or communication is without regard for the feelings or needs of others. It is self-centered.
  • Passive behavior is often without regard for the feelings or needs of yourself. It is also a way of putting the responsibility for what happens to your life in the hands of someone else.
  • Assertive behavior takes care of your needs without hurting someone else.  It respects everyone involved.

It is important to know which way you are acting because then you have choice.  You can keep behaving that way or you can choose to behave another way.


Role-Play (RP)

Have two people act out each of the following situations.  Then ask the group to decide whether the interaction is assertive, aggressive or passive.


RP: Your father asks you to let out the dog and you tell him you’ve already let the dog out three times and you have other things you need to be doing.


RP: Your teacher gets on you about not turning in your homework.  You know you turned it in, but you start to cry and say, “I’m sorry,” and do it again.


RP: Your mother asks you to help clean out the garage even through she knows you have made other plans.  You say, “Remember, I’m going to the mall this morning, but I will be glad to help when I get back.”


Discussion:  Can you think of some situations from your life when you acted in one of these ways but you see another way you could act now


Being An Advocate

Part of Taking a Stand is learning to be an “Advocate.” 

Who knows what an advocate is?  

An advocate is someone who speaks up for someone else.  We’re going to speak up — to be advocates — for kids who are being bullied.  We’re also going to be advocates for our community by speaking up and letting bullies know that their behavior is unacceptable in our community. 

By definition, advocates are required to be assertive.  You can’t be passive and be effective.  You can’t be aggressive without escalating the situation. 


The three primary messages we want to give assertively are:

  1. Bullying behavior is unacceptable in this community (school, house, neighborhood).
  2. We do not want to be around people who treat others with disrespect.
  3. We are going to report bullying that is ongoing, that we are unable to stop through our own efforts.


Role-play (RP)

RP I need three people to help me.  (1 bully, 1 victim, 1 advocate)

The bully is pushing a kid around and calling him names. 

          Victim says, “Don’t.” 

          Bully pushes again.

          Second time the victim says, “Don’t make fun of me, it isn’t nice and I don’t like it.” 

          The bully continues.

          Advocate steps in and says, “Stop it, we’re not going to put up with that in our school.” 

          How did each of you feel in your role?


RP: I need three more people.  (1 bully, 1 victim, 1 advocate)

           Bully says, “You got held back, you must be stupid!” 

          Victim responds, “Not nice, get a life.”

                    First, have the child say this not looking at the person. 

                    Ask how that feels. 

                    Then have the child say it standing up straight and looking right at the person. 

                    Have the child describe the difference.   

          Advocate enters scenario and says, “Cut it out, you don’t need to make yourself feel bigger by being mean to someone else.” 

                    The first time, have the advocate say it with no eye contact.

                    Then have them repeat it looking right at the person.

                    Ask all three participants to describe the difference.


RP: I need two people to help me now.  (1 bully, 1 victim)

Bully says, “You’re a loser and you can’t be a part of this game.”   

          Victim says, “I am not, that’s not nice.” 

                    The first time, have the victim say this with body turned away, no eye contact and soft voice.   

                    Repeat it having the victim use eye contact, clear body language and firm voice. 

                    Describe the difference.


RP: I need five people.  (4 bullies, 1 victim)

What if a bunch of kids (4 bullies) are making fun of how you look?

          Victim: Demonstrate a passive way to respond?   

          How about an aggressive way to respond?   

          Finally, an assertive way to respond?

          Which one felt most effective?  Why?

          How did it feel to those of you being bullies? 


RP: I need six people.  (4 bullies, 1 victim, 1 advocate)

Victim drops his books. 

          The kids (4 bullies) standing around start to laugh? 

           Victim:  Demonstrate a passive way to respond?   

          How about an aggressive way to respond?   

          Finally, an assertive way to respond?   

          What could one of the kids who has been a bully say that would be assertive? 

          How does it feel to be an advocate versus being part of the crowd?


RP I need two people.  (1 bully, 1 victim)

The bully punches you every time you walk by.  (Pretend, not real punching!)

          Can you demonstrate a passive way to respond? 

          How about an aggressive way to respond? 

          Finally, an assertive way to respond?



How does it feel?

If you were bullied, how did it make you feel when you were passive?

How did you feel when you were aggressive?

How did you feel when you were assertive? 

How did it feel to be the bully when the person was aggressive?

How did it feel as the bully when the person was passive? 

How did it feel as the bully when the person was assertive?


I’d like you to pay attention to your own behavior for a few days and see if you can identify whether you are being passive, aggressive or assertive. 


Most of us are one of the three most of the time.  See if you can branch out and try being other ways.


Notice how you feel and how it makes others feel.



Notice if you are assertive, passive or aggressive in your interactions with your family and friends.  Try being assertive more often and notice if people respond to you any differently.


Day 3 – Choices

Day 4 – Changing your own behaviors & advocating for others

Day 5 – Preventing emotional abuse & getting help

© 2016 Sherryll Kraizer, Ph.D.  Used with permission.

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Author Dr. Sherryll Kraizer has a Ph.D. in education with a specialization in youth at risk.