Table of Contents

Unit 2: Planning Lessons for Informational and Argument Writing

2.3.1 Navigating the Digital World: Extension Activity (Optional)

This section contains four grade span sample lessons that explore the topic of Cyberbullying. If you are planning to adapt an Upstanders, Not Bystanders lesson for your own classroom, these lessons provide an excellent extension activity around the same topic.

As digital communication bridges students’ lives in and beyond school, it can open up exciting new possibilities for multimedia, multimodal literacies — and the CCSS recognizes and fosters this communicative potential. But digital communication can also open up students to cyberbullying that disrupts classrooms and impacts school climate and culture. It is important to address these issues as students become more comfortable with digital technology.

Common Sense Media has developed a series of lessons that “show students how to stand up when they see digital harassment happening and to help teachers create a positive school culture where kids can thrive — both online and off.” The lessons are aligned with the CCSS and the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS–S), provide print and digital texts for students to read, discuss, and analyze, and culminate with print and digital writing prompts that include informational/explanatory and opinion/argument writing.

Time to Try

Select your grade span(s) of interest to review sample lessons from Common Sense Media that relate to cyberbullying:

Grades K–2: Screen Out the Mean

“What can you do when someone is mean to you online?” Students learn that children sometimes can act like bullies when they are online. They explore what cyberbullying means and what they can do when they encounter it.

Grades 3–5: What's Cyberbullying?

“What is cyberbullying, and how do you deal with it?” Students discuss positive and negative aspects of interacting with others online.

Grades 6–8: Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding

“How do you judge the intentions and impact of people’s words and actions online?” Students learn about the difference between being a passive bystander versus a brave upstander in cyberbullying situations.

Grades 9–12: Turn Down the Dial on Cyberbullying and Online Cruelty

“What factors intensify cyberbullying and online cruelty, and what can you do to lessen them?” Students learn that cruelty can escalate quickly online because people are often anonymous and posts spread quickly.