This activity enables pupils to explore their own opinions and understand how others feel about bullying. The debate option teaches critical thinking, discussion and debate.
Set up two chairs with “Agree” and “Disagree” signs. Read out one statement at a time and ask the children to place themselves according to what they believe, stressing that there is not always a “right” answer. Pupils standing near each other can discuss their decisions and random students can be picked out to explain why they have chosen their particular location. Following this, children can change position if they have formed a new opinion.
Suitable statements include:
- It’s best to keep it a secret if you are bullied.
- If you see somebody in trouble you should try to stop the bullies.
- It’s OK to call someone a name if you are only joking.
- It’s better to tell a friend about bullying than to tell the teacher.
- If you ignore bullies they will go away.
- Anyone can be a bully.
Pick one of the statements – and have students stand on the side they chose. This is their group. The group gathers and discussed points to help to prove that their side is the “right” side. They then choose a group leader or VOICE who will then present to the class their findings. Once each group has presented their findings the groups meet again to discuss and plan their rebuttal. The same VOICE or a new one then presents their rebuttal. Once both sides have gone – offer any student the chance to switch sides and discuss why they chose to switch.
- What did we learn about bullying today?
- What did we learn about debating?
- What kind of challenges were you presented with?
- How easy is it to change our opinions?
- What happens when we do change?
- If listening to someone and deciding that they are “right” and that you weren’t “right” before is wrong, then why would we teach it?
- What can being open to really hearing other people’s opinions offer you in life?
- How does the topic of bullying relate to the topic of opinions and our mental processes?