Series Bullying: Cyberbullying: What's Crossing the Line?


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards 6-12
  • 6:  6th Grade
  • 1c: 
    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
    discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled)
    with diverse partners on grade 6 topics,
    texts, and issues, building on others'\x80\x99 ideas and
    expressing their own clearly.

    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or
    studied required material; explicitly draw on
    that preparation by referring to evidence on
    the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on
    ideas under discussion.

    b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, set
    specific goals and deadlines, and define
    individual roles as needed.

    c. Pose and respond to specific questions with
    elaboration and detail by making comments
    that contribute to the topic, text, or issue
    under discussion.

    d. Review the key ideas expressed and
    demonstrate understanding of multiple
    perspectives through reflection and

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards 6-12
  • 6:  6th Grade
  • 2: 
    Interpret information presented in diverse media
    and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally)
    and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or
    issue under study.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Cyberbullying: What's Crossing the Line?

Lesson Objective: Grapple with the complex problem of cyberbullying using case studies
Grades 6-8 / ELA / Cyberbullying
ELA.SL.6.1c | ELA.SL.6.2


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Withers encourage students to consider multiple perspectives and support their opinions?
  2. What structures are in place to facilitate meaningful and appropriate group conversations?
  3. In what ways do the case studies help students explore and test their ideas?


  • Private message to Wanda Pelkey
Thank you for sharing your lesson. In a day and age where cyber bullying is so prevelant, I like to hear the students perspective on this.
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Pauline Pinto
Thank you for sharing Amy! Where can I access the video you shared with your students and reading materials? I'd like to try to duplicate this lesson with my students.
Recommended (1)
  • Private message to Brenda Stewart
Great work! A fabulous example of the CCLS Speaking and Listening standards. Thank you.
Recommended (1)

External Resource Materials



    Amy Withers OC/VO
    The essential question of our day is when does inappropriate online behavior cross the line to


    Amy Withers OC/VO
    The essential question of our day is when does inappropriate online behavior cross the line to cyber bullying and what can you do about it? My name's Amy Withers.
    Amy Withers Social Studies/Amistad Dual Language School, New York City
    And I teach at Amistad Dual Language School in Manhattan. So sometimes we do joke with each other and that's fine. Today's lesson is about cyber bullying, and it focuses on when maybe teasing online crosses the line to become something more serious. These are different forms of cyber bullying. Right? That all the things you're talking about. So, harassing, does anybody know what harassing might mean?
    Samantha OC
    It's like pressuring you to do something?
    Amy Withers OC/VO
    It could mean that, yeah. It just means when you're repeating something like pressure or a negative message over and over and you're using digital media. Today we focus really on looking at what are the different forms of cyber bullying. In the lesson, there are a lot of different interactions going on with the students. They are talking about something with the whole class and sharing ideas. And then they go into smaller groups and grapple over things that they might not all agree on. So they have to focus on backing up their opinions with evidence. And then in the end they have to take a highlight of what they discussed and then share that out with the rest of the class. First we're going to watch a video of a teenager who was involved in a cyber bullying episode.
    Stacy OC
    Her friend saw me comment her boyfriend. She thought something was going on so she got mad and then her friend started like harassing me on My Space. I remember telling my mom and my mom was mad. She was like, "You should tell, you should call the school. You should do this. You should do that." I was like, "That will just make it worse."
    Amy Withers VO/OC
    Okay. We're going to talk a little bit about the video. At the end Stacy's mom said that Stacy should call the school and report the incidents. Stacy responded, "It would just make it worse." Do you think it's true? Why or why not? Can you just take one second to talk about it at your tables and then?
    Female Child With Black Hair OC
    I think yes.
    Samantha OC
    The reason why they did that is because like they probably don't like her.
    Male Child Wearing Glasses OC
    It's only her friend, not necessarily her.
    Amy Withers VO/OC
    After they've discussed that, they will share out one point that they wanted to share from their discussion. Maybe something that they disagreed on. Who thinks that it would have made it worse, just by show of hands? Tell me why. .
    Female Child With Ponytail VO/OC
    If she tells the school, she, and gets the other girls in trouble, the girls are going to get mad at her and they're probably going to keep on.
    Female Child Wearing Blue Sweater VO/OC
    I think she should have called because it'll make it kind of like solve the problem because now she's going to have to like keep on fighting for like, she's going to be like keep on worried. And if they do like she tells them, the school, then the school might do something about it.

    Amy Withers OC
    Right. So there seems to be kind of two possibilities that you're thinking of. Either it's going to make it a lot worse or it could put an end to it, right?
    Samantha OC
    It was very emotional because...
    Samantha Sixth Grade
    ...if that would have happened to me, I would have been, I would have told somebody. But, if it was up to me, I wouldn't, I wouldn't like if somebody else that's not involved would get involved.
    Azalias OC
    It was like really...
    Azalias Sixth Grade
    ...sad and intense at the same time because like you notice that like by the video I could like experience a little bit like how she felt.
    Amy Withers OC
    The reason this curriculum is so important is and actually it's very different from today's lesson is that so much of the curriculum is focused on what a great tool and resource the internet is. So we're going to look at two different case studies now. For Mesopotamia and Greece, you're going to read the "Attacks From All Sides," okay? And Egypt, China and Israel, you're going to read "Election Sabotage." So the two case studies were two different incidents of a boy and a girl in two different situations that are cyber bullied. And as you read them, I want you to think of all the perspectives involved. So not just the person who's experienced a cyber bullying, but the bully him or herself, the parents, the family, maybe the school, the friends that are involved. And any time you're giving an opinion, make sure you're backing it up with evidence.
    Female With Ponytail OC
    The other girl she wants to win class president, so like for the other who vote for her, it says that most of them are Asian. So like that's what she .
    Female Child In Pink Shirt OC
    will happen, would this be a reason not to vote for Sarah?
    Male Child Wearing Glasses VO
    Female Child Wearing Green Top OC
    Male Child Wearing Glasses VO
    But I do admire her.
    Female Child In Pink Shirt OC
    Maybe. Yeah.
    Male Child Wearing Glasses OC
    Depends on the right kind of people, would you really want that?
    Female Child With Ponytail OC
    I don't think that she would agree, like she wouldn't like that.
    Azalias OC
    You have evidence that Sarah knew because like it was online.
    Amy Withers OC
    Okay. So I've asked each group to just briefly share out just one thing that came out of your conversations.
    Female Child Wearing Green Top OC
    I don't think it was a good reason for impersonating someone else online because they should like be honest and not cheat. It's like cheating.
    Male Child Wearing Glasses OC
    I don't think it's really that good like impersonating someone.
    Female Child With Braid VO/OC
    She posted a picture about him with a turkey head and she comments like, "Why am I so stupid? What a ."
    Female Child Wearing Brown Top OC
    It was wrong that the girl posted a picture of him. But instead he did the same to her so it was like .
    Amy Withers VO
    So it just kind of snowballed?
    Female Child Wearing Brown Top OC
    Yeah. Back and forth.
    Amy Withers VO/OC
    Okay. I think this lesson is critical and it's something that comes up when the students talk about it because they're so used to communicating online. They might not realize that something has crossed the line. This is serious. This is cyber bullying. This has major consequences.
    Justin OC
    I think...
    Justin Sixth Grade is a good topic to learn so that if you're ever in that situation, you know what to do.
    Classroom Takeaways: 1 Clearly State The Learning Objective 2 Encourage Perspective-Taking 3 Personalize Questions To Connect With Student's Lives 4 Restate Student's Answers For Clarification

School Details

Amistad Dual Language School
4862 Broadway
New York NY 10034
Population: 418

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Amy Withers


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