Acting for the Common Good

3, 4, 5

The students will present skits to illustrate strategies for addressing bullying behavior. They will compose a class pledge against bullying, and may choose to sign the pledge. The students will plan and implement a service project to inform the school community about bullying behavior and the strategies.

PrintOne 45-Minute Class Period and time to complete the student-led service project

The learner will:

  • participate in a group skit illustrating a response to bullying behavior
  • create a class pledge to stop and prevent bullying behavior in the school
  • share new knowledge about bullying behavior with a peer audience through a student planned and implemented service project

pledge: a solemn promise to do or not to do something


Write this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a display area: "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Ask the students how they think Dr. King's words relate to bullying behavior and how each person has a responsibility to do something about bullying behavior when they see someone being bullied.


 Broom, Maria. The Village Bully. 


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Share the book "The Village Bully" by Maria Broom. Read the following description from the book with the students and ask them whether they think this would work; what they like and don't like about it:

    In one African village, when a person does something truly hurtful, work stops as everyone, young and old, circles around the accused. Each one tells all the good things they remember about the person. Every positive incident, strength and kindness is recited in detail. The ceremony can often last several days and ends in celebration. The 'circle of love' helps the person to feel and remember who he is.

  2. Remind the students of the facts they discovered about bullying behavior and the "tools" for coping with bullies that they are creating skits about. Ask: What do you think we should do withthe new information and skills we have? Would sharing this with other students, teachers, parents and the community help make this school a better place? Through discussion, help the class realize that they can work to stop bullying behavior for the common good of their school community. Suggest that one way would be to perform their skits for a student and/or community audience.

  3. Allow the skit groups a few minutes to practice, then have each group present its skit to the class. Encourage the students to give constructive suggestions to each group on how they might improve their presentation.

  4. After the skits have been presented, ask the class if they know what a "pledge" is and if they have ever taken one. Students might think of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, a Girl or Boy Scout Pledge, or a pledge associated with a faith group. Define a pledge for the students as: a solemn promise to do or not to do something. Suggest that the class might write a pledge about addressing bullying behavior in their school community. Each of them could choose to sign. The pledge might include a sentence about not acting as a bully and one about addressing bullying when they see it. In a class writing session, guide students in wording a simple pledge. Write the pledge on chart paper and invite students to sign the chart, if they wish.

  5. In a class meeting, determine how the skits will be used to inform the school community about bullying. Ideas the teacher may suggest: perform the skits during an all school assembly, visit each classroom to perform and discuss the skits, video tape the skits for other classes to borrow and discuss, hold a Stop Bullying night inviting school families to view the skits. The students may also wish to offer their peers and school community members an opportunity to sign the Stop Bullying pledge. This should be a student planned and implemented service project, guided by the teacher.

  6. After the service project, use the activity in the "Reflection" section of this lesson.

Cross Curriculum 

Students develop and implement a plan to stop and prevent bullying in their school community using the bullying "tools" skits and anti-bullying pledge they created.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Recognize that volunteering requires freedom of choice.
      2. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
      2. Benchmark E.7 Give classroom examples of when a student does not need the teacher's permission to act philanthropically.