Understanding bullying

Bullying is a critical issue for schools, as it can lead to negative impacts for the person being bullied, bystanders, the person doing the bullying and the school. Providing opportunities for students to understand what constitutes bullying, and to learn to recognise it within their school community, is a key part of an effective bullying prevention program.

Year Level



60 minutes


  • In class activity
  • Take-away activity

SEL Competencies

  • Social awareness
  • Responsible decision-making

Learning Intention

Students will be able to understand what constitutes bullying, and undertake an audit of bullying behaviour at their school.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the different behaviours associated with bullying
  • understand that bullying behaviour is never okay
  • recognise bullying behaviour
  • be aware of the prevalence of bullying behaviour in their school.
activity 01

Class discussion: What is bullying? 30 min

  1. Ask the students to read the ReachOut.com article 'What is bullying'.
  2. Give each student three post-it notes and ask them to write on each note a word that describes bullying. Once finished, collect post-it notes.
  3. On the white board, draw a Y-chart with the labels ‘looks like’, ‘sounds like’ and ‘feels like’.
  4. Read out each post-it note and ask students to group into ‘looks like’, ‘sounds like’ and ‘feels like’.
  5. From the grouping of words, create a definition of bullying.