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What is the difference between a bystander and an ally? Teach Peace Now Lesson

~ What is the Difference between a Bystander and and Ally? ~

Objective: To help students understand the difference between being a bystander and an ally.

Preparation: Select a book to read aloud that shows someone being victimized. Some possible books include Going Some Place Special (McKissack), Say Something (Moss), White Socks Only (Coleman), Mayfield Crossing (Nelson)

Procedure: Read the story. Then make a chart on the board like the one below. Define each term

  • Victim: The person harmed or hurt
  • Bystander: A person who sees bullying happening and does nothing
  • Ally: A person who takes action to stop of prevent further bullying

Victim(s)

Bystander(s)

Ally(s)

  1. Talk about what each role looks and sounds like.
  2. List characters under the roles they played in story.

Follow Up Discussion Question

Ask students if they have ever taken one of the roles. Discuss how they felt. What they could they have done differently?  Did it make a difference who else they were with?

Extensions:

Begin by reviewing how to address bullying in safe ways. See Guidelines for Allies  Next do one of the following based on the age of the children.

All grades: Rewrite the story to read for “justice” by retelling the story with people who were bystanders now joining with the ally.

2nd grade and up: Have students make similar charts in their reading journals and using books they have read place characters under the role they take in the story.

High School: Use the chart to evaluate historical events and the role different important personages played, such as the emancipation of the slaves during the Civil War or the elimination of apartheid in South Africa.

More Activities to Address Bullying

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2 Comments

  1. It is important for children to understand the power of bystanders in a bullying situation. When children are united against a bullying, it is difficult for the perpetrator to continue.

    • Teach Peace Now says:

      As teachers, cooperating and being united with others when we see an injustice is probably one of the most important lessons we can teach. It is the only way change happens whether it is defeating a bully or defending victims of violence and heat. Thanks for being one of our great supporters!

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