Taking a Stand on Bullying
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.10 Give historic and contemporary examples of a voluntary action by an individual or a private organization that has helped to enhance a fundamental democratic principle.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.
      2. Benchmark MS.6 Identify and explain how fundamental democratic principles relate to philanthropic activities.

In this lesson the students will use the data collected from their surveys in Lesson Four: Bullying and Core Democratic Values on bullying in their school. They will analyze the information and take a position on whether or not bullying violates core democratic values and whether or not students should take an active role in preventing bullying at their school.

PrintOne or Two Fifty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learners will:

  • write a formal letter, taking a stand on the issue of bullying in the school.
  • use survey data and prior knowledge to support a position.
  • describe an advocate for the common good as one who benefits others.
  • Copy of the core democratic values (see Attachment One, Lesson One: Pocahontas)
  • Survey results from Lesson Four: Bullying and Core Democratic Values. These can be made into copies or put on poster board for students to use.
  • Paper and pencils, or the assignment could be done on computer if this option is available.
  1. Anticipatory Set:Ask the learners to think of a person, past or present, famous or from their own circle of friends, who has taken a stand on an issue that benefited others. They should write a paragraph describing this person and the stand that he/she took for the common good. Allow five minutes for student writing and then discuss what they have written.

  2. Tell students that in the unit “Herstory in History” we discovered that many women had to take a stand on issues to benefit the common good. Pocahontas had to take a stand with her father and people to save Captain John Smith and the Jamestown settlement. In American history, Abigail Adams spoke out for women’s rights at the time of the American Revolution. Harriet Tubman led other enslaved Africans to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Each of these women took risks to benefit others. Explain that this is the act of a philanthropist.

    • Remind the students that they also used their time and talents to benefit others when they conducted a survey and advocated for solutions to bullying. They wanted to bring about positive change. Through this action, students became philanthropists.
    • Tell students today they are going to “take a stand” on bullying in their school. Go over the survey results with them. (The results of the survey should be available, either in poster form or chart form, for students to use as data to support their stand on bullying in their school.) If necessary, review the core democratic values at this time.
    • Tell students that they will be writing a letter on the topic of bullying that will be shared with interested adults and students, such as the principal, teachers, the counselor, Student Council or the school board, etc. In this letter they must take a stand on this statement:

      I do (do not) believe that bullying violates our core democratic values and that students should (should not) take an active role in stopping bullying in our school.

  3. Instruct students that their essays must state a position, apply and explain a core democratic value being violated, use the data from the surveys and support their stand with prior knowledge from American history. You may need to review the form of a letter with students at this time.

  4. Allow time to write the letters. You may choose to use the complete writing process in which the students would write a rough draft, peer edit and write a final copy.


The assessment will be the letter written on the topic of bullying. The letter will be holistically scored with a rubric of the following criteria: In the letter the student should take a stand on whether or not bullying violates a student’s core democratic values. The students should take a stand, support their position with a core democratic value, use the data collected and prior knowledge to support their position.