Don't Laugh at Me Teacher Page
A WebQuest to
explore why people bully, how it affects a person who bullies or is
bullied, and persuade others against bullying.
Designed for a Fifth Grade
By Laura Abbott
Before beginning this
WebQuest, students will need to have basic note taking skills (using note
cards, writing down important information, organizing notes). Students will also need to have knowledge
about letter writing, both the format and using appropriate content depending
on the recipient. Students will
especially need to know how to write a persuasive letter.
This WebQuest was created in an Advanced Technology class for Elementary
Education seniors at Franklin
The WebQuest if for fifth graders because it has the students work with
younger grades. You could adapt this to younger grades if this part was
changed. The students use the skills that they have acquired, along
with letter writing skills to create a program for bullying education in
their classrooms and school.
This is a fifth grade lesson that would work in a Language Arts
classroom. This could also be taught in conjunction with a character
education curriculum because it focuses on citizenship skills. This
lesson could easily be used in higher grades.
All schools have some bullying and a middle or high school would benefit
as much as an elementary school would from the end result of this
Students will need to know the basic format for letter writing before this
WebQuest is completed. Students should be placed in groups of three to
five students depending on the size and learning styles of a class. It would probably be best for the teacher to
place students into groups before the WebQuest begins. Also, you might consider placing students who
are not best friends together. This
could help the lesson since it is about not bullying and treating others (who may not be like you) with respect.
will also need to be familiar with navigating websites that they are
given. Students should also be familiar with student friendly
search engines so that they can find additional Internet
resources. They should also be able to take notes on this
information. Note taking skills should be taught prior to doing
These are the content
standards. They standards that are
covered in the INDIANA
ACADEMIC STATE STANDARDS:
5.2.1 Use the features of
informational texts, such as formats, graphics, diagrams, illustrations,
charts, maps, and organization, to find information and support understanding.
5.2.3 Recognize main ideas
presented in texts, identifying and assessing evidence that supports those
5.2.4 Draw inferences, conclusions, or
generalizations about text and support them with textual evidence and prior
5.4.3 Write informational
pieces with multiple paragraphs that:
- present important ideas or
events in sequence or in chronological order.
- provide details and transitions
to link paragraphs.
- offer a concluding paragraph
that summarizes important ideas and details.
- 5.4.4 Use organizational
features of printed text, such as citations, endnotes, and bibliographic
references, to locate relevant information.
5.4.5 Use note-taking skills
when completing research for writing.
5.4.8 Review, evaluate, and
revise writing for meaning and clarity.
5.4.9 Proofread one’s own
writing, as well as that of others, using an editing checklist or set of rules,
with specific examples of corrections of specific errors.
5.4.10 Edit and revise writing
to improve meaning and focus through adding, deleting, combining, clarifying,
and rearranging words and sentences.
logical organizational structures for providing information in writing, such as
chronological order, cause and effect, similarity and difference, and stating
and supporting a hypothesis with data.
5.5.3 Write or deliver a research report that has been developed using a systematic research process and that:
- uses information from a variety
of sources (books, technology, multimedia) and documents sources (titles and
- demonstrates that information
that has been gathered has been summarized.
- organizes information by
categorizing and sequencing.
5.5.4 Write persuasive
letters or compositions that:
- state a clear position in
support of a proposal.
- support a position with
relevant evidence and effective emotional appeals.
- follow a simple organizational
pattern, with the most appealing statements first and the least powerful ones
- address reader concerns.
5.5.6 Write for different
purposes (information, persuasion, description) and to a specific audience or
person, adjusting tone and style as appropriate.
5.5.7 Write summaries that
contain the main ideas of the reading selection and the most significant
5.6.6 Use correct
5.6.7 Spell roots or bases of
words, prefixes (understood/misunderstood, excused/unexcused), suffixes
(final/finally, mean/meanness), contractions (will not/won’t, it is/it’s, they
would/they’d), and syllable constructions (in•for•ma•tion, mol•e•cule)
5.7.12 Give precise directions
5.7.4 Select a focus,
organizational structure, and point of view for an oral presentation.
5.7.5 Clarify and support
spoken ideas with evidence and examples.
5.7.6 Use volume, phrasing,
timing, and gestures appropriately to enhance meaning.
points in ways that help the listener or viewer follow important ideas and
5.7.7 Identify, analyze, and
critique persuasive techniques, including promises, dares, flattery, and
generalities; identify faulty reasoning used in oral presentations and media
Here is a summary of the types of standards addressed. The students will use reading skills, like context
clues, using informational text and drawing meaning, researching and note
taking, persuasive writing, writing for a specific purpose, editing, and
Beyond the content skills, students will also work on
citizenship skills and character skills.
Students should learn how to treat other people. Compassion and teamwork, along with better
compromising skills are outcomes of the lesson for your students and the students that
they share with. Students will gain
knowledge in relationship skills as well as being self-reflective. Students will also gain public speaking
skills and confidence in themselves.
Different thinking skills will also be used. Students must use
critical thinking skills in many areas. They must decide what
makes a good source for researching. They must decide what words
to use to persuade others. Students must also think critically
when they plan their convocations.
Group work skills will also be improved upon. Students must
work respectfully in their groups to be successful. Students will
have to communicate with their group members. Students will also
use letter writing to communicate with other people. The students
will have to communicate in appropriate ways to the different
recipients. The class must also find appropriate ways to present the convocations to younger students.
teacher maybe want to begin this WebQuest by telling students that if
they ever see bullying, they should always let an adult know.
Bullying is serious stuff and it can be very dangerous.
In here you will find the process that the students will read. There are notes in green for the teacher to read about additional instructions, adaptations, materials, etc. You
will need to make sure that you have at least enough computers to have
one per group. The groups should consist of four members, since there
are four jobs. The more computers that are available, the easier it
will be for students for students to research. You may also want to allow students to
bookmark sites or print out information. The students should be
able to complete the WebQuest with little teacher assistance because it
is open ended in regards to the end result.
You're stupid. Why would you dress like that? I can't believe that you didn't know that! Have the students come up with other things that a bully might do.
Have you ever said anything like this? Has anything like this ever been said to you? Listen to this song. It deals with words like the ones above. It is called
"Don't Laugh at Me" and it is sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Pay close attention to the words. The
teacher might want to show a video that you can get if you contact
Operation Respect. Their web address is located in the References section.
How did the words make you
feel? Have you ever felt like this before? Have you ever made
anyone feel like this? If you want to listen to the song to
hear the words again, you can also look at the lyrics.
Now, turn to your group and discuss this song. Discuss if you have felt this way, have made others feel this way, or seen others being bullied. You are
going to have to be open and honest with your other group members. This
may be hard, but if you can do this, you can help others who have been in your situation.
Finally, and most importantly, how can you prevent others from feeling this?
Now, you are going to become a bullying expert and you are going to
put your skills to good use. In your expert groups, you are going
to create a method to teach others about bullying prevention and bully
stopping skills. To do this you will write persuasive letters to
teachers, principals, and young students. Along with your letters, you
will use your research on bullying to create a convocation to teach the younger
students ways to stop bullying in their classrooms. You can be as creative as you want with your convocation.
Maybe after you are finished, we will not hear your peers
or the younger students say things like:
You're stupid. Why would you dress like that? I can't believe that you didn't know that!
Instead we will hear:
Good job! Thank you for helping me. I know that you can do this! We can do this together.
You are in school all the
time, so you spend many hours with your classmates. I bet
somewhere in that time you have heard people say things like the words in the song "Don't
Laugh at Me". Use your personal experiences and what you will discover
through this WebQuest to create your convocation presentation. Remember that bullying is serious stuff. Bullying is very dangerous. If you ever see bullying going on, you should always tell a trusted adult!
teacher has put you into groups.
Your group may not have your best friend in it, but that’s
okay. Working with this kind of
group will help you with this WebQuest.
Maybe you can learn something new from your group members while working.with them. Depending
on your class, you may want to allow students to choose their own
groups, or you may want to choose groups for them. I would
suggest pairing students with others that they may have had slight
problems with before (but you have to be careful in doing this).
By creating these pairings, it may help students work out
your group, the teacher has assigned jobs or you will be picking jobs.
There will be the Note Taker, the Prop Master, the Encourager, and the Presenter. All of you will work
together, but the job holders will be the heads of different committees. Make
sure that the students know that everyone must help the head of the
committees. Just because a person is the head of a committee, it
does not mean that they are going to do all of the work. If you
have a fifth person in the group, they can be the Researcher committee
Note Taker will be the main writer of the group. Notes
should be taken during research. This person will head the
writing that goes into the convocation that is your end product.
Prop Master will be the head person in getting of any pictures needed for
the convocation, along with props, such poster boards, visuals, etc.
Encourager will help keep the group members on task as well as make sure
that your group follows your research. Remember, this
is a bully free zone!
Presenter will be the head of the speaking parts of the presentation. This
person will make sure that all the parts fit together and people do not
repeat what another member says.
you see the job names in the directions, you can click on them and it
will bring you back to the job descriptions. Use this to make sure
that each member is doing the right thing. But, don't forget that all
members help with each area!
- The Researcher
will be EVERYONE! Every group member must help research bullying. Work
is divided among committees, but all members must research. Make
sure that all students contribute in the research and that they all help
the committee leaders do the different jobs. Since there are
groups of four, you might want to have them divide into pairs to work.
The Note Taker can be in charge of deciding who takes notes and
how it is done.
- To begin your WebQuest, the first thing that you are going to do is
learn about yourself as a bully.
Click here to take a bullying quiz.
results might surprise you! Each member may do this on the
computer or it can also be done on a piece of paper. Do not exit
out of this site, you will need it later. Before
the students take the quiz, you might consider having a whole class
discussion about bullying. This might set the students more at
ease because they may learn some uncomfortable things about themselves.
The teacher might want to take the quiz first, as well, and then
share the results. It is a must for the students to feel
comfortable! A caring and comforting environment is essential
for this WebQuest's success.
you learn anything about yourself, were you surprised? THINK about this, you do not have to
share if you don’t want to.
However, sharing might help other people.
- Go back to the webpage, there
are a couple of ovals on the left side of it.
You should explore the ones that say “What is Bullying” and “What Can I Do”. There is a lot of information here. This is when the Note Taker
should begin taking notes on the information about bullying. You
will use this information in your presentation at the end as well as in
persuasive letters. Remind the Note Taker to work with the group and include everyone's ideas in the notes.
- To take notes, the
Note Taker can use note cards, make outlines, jot down ideas, etc.
Use some of the techniques that you have learned in class that
have worked for you. Here are graphic organizers that might help. Make sure to write neatly so that you and
your group members can read the notes later on.
- There are several
websites for your group to research. Sometimes they might have
difficult words to read or understand. You can work together to
solve this problem with dictionaries, context clues, teacher
assistance, and by using the information that you have learned from
other websites. The Encourager needs to make sure that all members are staying on task during research. The
teacher should make sure to preview all of the sites before the
students visit them. This should be done to check for content as
well as to make sure that it is not at the students' frustrational
level. The teacher can also find additional sites for the students
- Go to these websites below
to learn what bullying is and some common myths about bullying.
While looking at the websites, the Prop Master and the Presenter
should take idea notes and collect resources for convocation. These
links take you to one part of the website, you should also explore
other pages on the same site.The
teacher should tell these two committee heads some possible materials
that they will have access to such as: a TV, computers, art supplies,
- You can look at these additional sites for
suggestions on bullying programs and prevention. They are also
going to give you more general information about bullying. Right
are still in the brainstorming mode for your letters and convocation.
You should continue to take notes, collect resources, think of ideas for your convocation.
- While you are brainstorming, use different
graphic organizers, like webs, or outlines to begin putting together
your convocation. Here are graphic organizers that might help. The
teacher should provide these different brainstorming items as well as
other resources, such as dictionaries, thesauruses, etc.
- Now your group is closer to becoming an expert on
bullying. Before you present your convocation to younger
students, you are
going to write persuasive letters to three groups: principals,
teachers, and students. You have discussed persuasive letters in
your class before this WebQuest. To know what you are going to be
graded on, go to the Rubric. The teacher might want to consider having examples of persuasive writing as well as example letters.
- To the principals,
you need to persuade them that bullying is a problem in our schools and
also persuade them that you have a solution (This will be the
convocation and its content). You might also consider inviting the principals to the convocation. Make sure to inform the principal that you are going to write him/her letters.
- Your group is going to do a similar letter to teachers.
You need to persuade
them that your program is something that would benefit their students
and that they should allow you to present to their classes. Make
sure to inform the teachers that they will receive letters addressed to
them as well as addressed to their classes. Also, make sure to
tell the teachers about the convocation that your students will present
to their students.
- For the student
letter, you are going to pick a younger grade and write to a class.
You should present information so that the younger students can
understand it. You should persuade them not to bully and to help
stop bullying in their classroom. The
teacher might want to help guide the students when decided which grade
level to write to depending on the environment in the school.
The teacher can either have the students read the letter to the other
class or the other teacher can decide how the other class reads the
- The Note Taker's should divide up the letter writing. Each member should help write the letters, but it is the Note Taker's job to divide up the work. The Encourager should help here too and make sure that everyone is working. Make sure that
you use the correct format for a letter! If you forget the correct
format, click here.
you have written your letters, have your teacher make several copies of each
letter for you to deliver. Deliver the letters to the teachers,
principals, and students. The
teacher should help address the letters to the various recipients as
well as make copies. The teacher will need a copy to grade and
the students will need a copy to deliver. Students may also want
a copy to include in their convocations.
- A convocation is a way that
experts in an area present their information. They are usually
entertaining, fun and informative. You have been to many convocations
so you have an idea of what they are. Now it is your turn to
create one. This is where the Encourager plays a major role. It
is going to be your job to bring all the work together.
- As a group you need to make a convocation that talks about several of these ideas and more of your own: To
gain materials for the convocations, you may need to have students
bring in items from home. Try to have students work as
much as possible on their convocation at school. This helps by
giving the students more opportunity to work on the convocations together.
- Learning about what bullying really is: how
do people bully others, what might a bully look like, how do you know
how is a bully?
- Discovering ways to prevent bullying
- What does a person who is bullied look like? How does being bullied affect them?
- Remember that your convocation is for the
younger students, so you need to use words that they will understand.
Your group may pick a grade that you wish to present your convocation. You might give examples of what younger students read or what their text books are like to help the students.
Prop Master is going to putting together the ideas for visual aids for
your convocation. You have already collected resources, now it is time to put them together. The Presenter
should also begin thinking about
how the convocation is going to be presented and writing a script.
All members should present part of the convocation and help with
all of the areas of work.
- Here is what your convocation should include, along with ideas of your own. You may also look at the Rubric. The teacher may want to add additional things to this list.
- Use a way to catch the students attention, like the song caught yours.
- Share information about what bullying really is, who a bully is, what a bully looks like and does.
- Discuss how bullying might affect a person.
- Share ways to prevent bullying.
- Your presentation should be interesting, colorful, eye catching, full of information, and most importantly it should help solve the problem of bullying in our school. To
practice their convocation, have the students present them to the other
members of their class. You can grade both presentations and choose the
best score, or you can use this as practice and grade the one presented to
younger students. You might consider grading the "practice" one
because students may get even more nervous presenting in front of a
group of new people. If this is the classes' first time to do a
presentation like this, give many opportunities to practice.
- You do not have many instructions on the
convocation because I want to see how each group thinks we should
prevent bullying. However, somewhere in your convocation you MUST
site the sources that you have used. Put the name of the place
and the date that you used them.
- Your convocation can include singing, art,
discussion, videos, etc. I have given you several websites about
bullying, however you can use other resources. You can get books
from the library, interview your peers, look at other websites (with
teacher approval), etc. I want you to be creative. Considering
taking a trip to the library to look for other resources. School
libraries have limited numbers of books, so have the different groups
- Now, that you have written persuasive letters, chosen a grade, and created a
convocation to teach about bullying, its time to present! Make
sure to speak loudly and clearly, look at your audience, and have fun!
- Wow! We have made a difference in our
school. I want each group to reflect on what they have learned
throughout this process. Complete a final journal entry
individually. Talk about what ever you want. Have you
changed anything about yourself, can you change how your friends feel
in school, etc? These are just a few ideas to talk about.
You're stupid. Why would you dress like that? I can't believe that you didn't know that!
Hopefully all of these words are a thing of
the past in our school. Because of your research, persuasive
letters, and your convocation, we are now here:
Good job! Thank you for helping me. I know that you can do this! We can do this together.
Think about how you changed your school, your friends, and even yourself!
Not only have you become an expert on bullying, but you have also
become a better person through your research and group work. You
have new skills that allow you to work better in groups, you have
public speaking skills, and you have create new and deeper ways of
thinking. You can think through tough problems and come up with
creative solutions. (Bullying is such a tough problem that even
teachers and principals struggle with it! And you have created a
solution to it. You should be proud of all the work that your
group has done.)
If you finish early and you want extra credit, you can create flyers to
put up on the walls at school. They should go along with the theme of bullying prevention and your convocation.
You can also create your own song like the song at the beginning
of the WebQuest.
If you want more information on bullying, please go to this site dontlaugh.org. It has informational videos that you can view to learn more about bullying.
Additional Things to Consider
- This lesson will take several weeks to complete. The class will have to research, create, and present their projects. The
length of the WebQuest partly depends on how quickly the class works
and how in depth you want the projects to be. It will vary from
class to class.
the class will need to present their project to a younger grade, you
will need to contact the grades that the presentations are created for.
You will have to find a time that works for both classes so that
your students can teach about bullying.
lesson incorporates mostly language arts standards because of the
researching, writing, and presenting. However, it would also fit
community or citizenship standards because it works on being a better
person and citizen.
lesson will not be difficult to pull off technology wise. The
students are provided with several online resources. A teacher
skilled in Internet search may choose to find more and different
resources to accommodate the needs of individual classrooms.
the teacher may need to give directions on how to present a
convocation. Some class may require examples. The teacher
could also plan a similar "convocation" on a different subject for a
concrete example. This would require the teacher to have public
speaking skills as well as skills to create a visual presentation.
you have a class number that does not divide by four, you can create
additional jobs. You can make the job of the Researcher into its
own job or you can combine the Prop Master with the Presenter.
- Have students create radio or TV campaigns
instead of presenting their convocations. This would make it
easier for the students to share their projects with many people.
- Have the students write persuasive letters to
themselves. These letters can be given to them in the future to
help them remember all that they learned about bullying.
- If you have done this WebQuest in years past,
you could show the past convocations (if you recorded them) and have
the students analyze them and find ways to improve and update them.
Possible materials needed:
- at least one computer per group with Internet access
- writing papers
- a place to present the convocations
- materials to create visuals displays
- poster boards
- printer and paper
- coloring utensils
- whatever students want to bring from home or the teacher supplies
The Internet sites used to complete this WebQuest are found below in the Credits and References section.
- video camera and tape
teacher will be sufficient for this WebQuest. Students should be
able to work fairly independently as long as they have the required
skills. Students may need some help or explanation with websites,
but this will not be enough to require multiple adults.
There are no specific people or helpers that should be brought in for the
completion of the WebQuest, but there are people who could add to the
students' learning. A teacher
may want to consider having an adult, such as a nurse or doctor, come
in and give the class a presentation about bullying as an example for
the ones that the students will create.
Click here for ideas for non-readers, ESL students, and Special Needs students.
There is a link, Amazon bullying books, that will show many books on bullying that the teacher might want for
background information or that students might find helpful for research.
is the rubric that students will be graded on. It would be
beneficial for each group to have a printed copy. The class
should go over it together. The rubric gives the students grades, however, the biggest form of success
of this WebQuest
can not be graded in the standard way. The biggest out come of
this project will be the change in attitudes and actions of the
children. Hopefully, your students, as well as their friends and
the students that they present to, will change how they treat others.
Students will become more aware of what bullying is, what
bullying does, and apply this to their lives. The outcome of this
WebQuest could have ramifications for years to come!
Even though the most important end result of the WebQuest cannot be
evaluated in the traditional form, parts of the WebQuest can be, so
here is the rubric to grade the letters, convocation, and group work.
After this lesson, hopefully a change can be seen in the students.
Students will treat each other with more respect than before.
The students will encourage one another instead of put their
peers down. The change in attitude of students should be evident.
If student are ever seen to be slipping back into old ways, their
convocations can always be re-presented and revisited.
Credits & References
the research links. They are websites that the students will use.
Included here is more description of each.
website contains information about bullying at school , at home, and
the work place. It gives advise, dispels myths. etc.
- This site describes bullying from a child's perspective and in terms that are easy for students to understand.
- This site answers question about bullying, especially why and what questions that many students will have.
is a site from the an organization devoted to bullying education from
the United Kingdom. It was created for student use.
- This is a site from Australia that is made by an organization that is devoted to bullying education, ideas, and resources.
is an organization called ChildlLine that is a site that is
dedicated to issues that students face, including bullying.
website will help students in their convocations. It tell many
things that do and do not work when it comes to stopping bullying.
- The site will show the students to correct format for writing a letter.
teacher will use the websites on the students' page
along with these other resources to have background knowledge to share
with the students.
- This is the picture that is found at the beginning of the WebQuest.
- This is the BullyOnline site that students will use. Teachers can use it to gain background knowledge about bullying.
- This site gives statistics for every state about the strengths and weaknesses of the bullying prevention and education programs.
- This site has many teacher resources.
You can have this organization send you materials, like songs, a
video etc., for free, to use in your classroom.
These links are for other resources.
- This is the song that students will listen. to at the beginning of the WebQuest. It is by Peter, Paul and Mary
- These are the song lyrics.
- These are for the pictures.
- This is for the WebQuest templates.
I would also like to thanks Mrs. Judy Lamb for her starting
ideas, Mrs. Vicki Mast for help with the technical side of WebQuests,
and Ms. Linda Airey for her help with the content.
"We all benefit by being generous with our work. Permission
is hereby granted for other educators to copy this WebQuest, update
or otherwise modify it, and post it elsewhere provided that the original
author's name is retained along with a link back to the original URL of
this WebQuest. On the line after the original author's name, you may add
Modified by (your name) on (date). If you do modify it, please let me know
and provide the new URL."
Include a link back to The WebQuest
Page so that others can acquire the latest version of this template and