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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Online Bullying

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Date: Jul 1, 2007
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THE ARTICLE

Cyber-bullying spreads in the US

A new report on the influence of the Internet on US teens reports that one third of teenagers who surf the Net have been victims of cyber-bullying. The research, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, says: “About one third of all teenagers who use the internet say they have been targets of a range of annoying and potentially menacing online activities – such as receiving threatening messages; having their private emails or text messages forwarded without consent; having an embarrassing picture posted without permission; or having rumors about them spread online.” However, the most common complaint from online teens was about private information being shared rather than direct threats or physical violence. Teenagers still believe that worse bullying happens offline.

The report discovered that as more young people join social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, they are making themselves vulnerable by sharing more of their personal information online for cyber-bullies to find. The survey found that 39% of social network users had been cyber-bullied in some way, compared to 22% of online teens who had never used social networks. Report author Amanda Lenhart commented: "Bullying has entered the digital age. The impulses behind it are the same, but the effect is magnified. In the past, the materials of bullying would have been whispered, shouted or passed around. Now, with a few clicks, a photo, video or a conversation can be shared with hundreds via e-mail or millions through a website, online profile or blog posting."

WARM-UPS

1. BULLYING: Walk around the class and find out from other students their experiences and opinions of bullying. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

reports / influences / bullying / threatening messages / rumours / complaints / social networking / MySpace / surveys / the digital age / e-mail / blog posting

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. CYBER-BULLYING: In pairs / groups, discuss which of the items in the table are the worst. Rank them in order of which are worst. Have any of them happened to you?

  • threatening messages
  • stolen e-mail addresses
  • embarrassing pictures posted
  • rumours spread online
  • sharing of private information
  • blackmail
  • character assassinations
  • other ____________________

4. I’M A JOURNALIST: Your partner will decide what kind of journalist you are. You are an internationally famous reporter in that area. Walk around the class and talk to the other “journalists” about life as a journalist.

5. INTERNET TERMS: Talk with your partner(s) about what you know of these Internet terms. Change partners and share what you said and heard.

  1. cyber-bullying
  2. social networking
  3. phishing
  4. MySpace / Facebook / Flippr
  5. podcasts
  6. blogging
  7. peer-to-peer music sharing
  8. streaming

6. BULLY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “bully”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

7. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think governments should place strict controls on children using the Internet. Students B think it’s ridiculous to control kids’ use of the Internet. Change partners often. Share your findings.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

A report says many teenagers are being bullied online in the USA.

T / F

b.

The report claims a third of teenagers have bullied others online.

T / F

c.

The biggest complaint is about personal data being spread online.

T / F

d.

Teenagers believe cyber-bullying is worse than physical bullying.

T / F

e.

Fewer and fewer teens are joining social networking sites.

T / F

f.

Teenagers who social network are more likely to be bullied online.

T / F

g.

The digital age has brought brand new motives for bullying.

T / F

h.

Online conversations can be shared with millions online.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

influence

a.

threatening

2

victims

b.

increased

3.

menacing

c.

permission

4.

consent

d.

weak

5.

spread

e.

remarked

6.

vulnerable

f.

urges

7.

commented

g.

impact

8.

impulses

h.

circulated

9.

magnified

i.

description

10.

profile

j.

injured parties

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

A new report on the influence

a.

users had been cyber-bullied

2

annoying and potentially

b.

bullying happens offline

3.

having rumors about them

c.

menacing online activities

4.

the most common

d.

is magnified

5.

Teenagers still believe that worse

e.

of the Internet on US teens

6.

making themselves

f.

or blog posting

7.

39% of social network

g.

complaint from online teens

8.

Bullying has entered the

h.

vulnerable

9.

the effect

i.

spread online

10.

through a website, online profile

j.

digital age

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Cyber-bullying spreads in the US
 

A new report on the ________ of the Internet on US teens reports that one third of teenagers who surf the Net have been ________ of cyber-bullying. The research, ________ by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, says: “About one third of all teenagers who use the internet say they have been targets of a ________ of annoying and potentially menacing online activities – such as receiving ________ messages; having their private emails or text messages forwarded without ________; having an embarrassing picture posted without permission; or having rumors about them ________ online.” However, the most common complaint from online teens was about private information being shared rather than ________ threats or physical violence. Teenagers still believe that worse bullying happens offline.

 

 

direct
threatening
conducted
spread
influence
consent
victims
range

The report discovered that as more young people ________ social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, they are ________ themselves vulnerable by sharing more of their personal information online for cyber-bullies to ________. The survey found that 39% of social network users had been cyber-bullied in some ________, compared to 22% of online teens who had never used social networks. Report author Amanda Lenhart commented: "Bullying has entered the digital ________. The impulses behind it are the same, but the effect is ________. In the past, the materials of bullying would have been whispered, shouted or passed around. Now, with a ________ clicks, a photo, video or a conversation can be shared with hundreds via e-mail or millions through a website, online profile or blog ________."

 

 

way
posting
find
magnified
making
age
join
few

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Cyber-bullying spreads in the US

A new report ______________________ Internet on US teens reports that one third of teenagers who surf the Net ______________________ -bullying. The research, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, says: “About one third of all teenagers ______________________ have been targets of a range of annoying and potentially menacing online activities – ______________________ messages; having their private emails or text messages forwarded without consent; having an embarrassing picture posted without permission; or ___________________________ online.” However, the most common complaint from online teens was about private information ______________________ direct threats or physical violence. Teenagers still believe that worse bullying happens offline.

The report discovered ______________________ join social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, they are ______________________ by sharing more of their personal information online for cyber-bullies to find. The survey found that ______________________ had been cyber-bullied in some way, compared to 22% of online teens who had never used social networks. Report author Amanda Lenhart commented: "_____________________________. The impulses behind it are the same, but the effect is magnified. In the past, ______________________ would have been whispered, shouted or passed around. Now, with a few clicks, a photo, video or a conversation can be shared ______________________ or millions through a website, online profile or blog posting."


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘social’ and ‘network’.

social

network

 

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • one third
  • conducted
  • range
  • consent
  • complaint
  • worse
  • MySpace
  • find
  • compared to
  • age
  • magnified
  • blog

STUDENT CYBER-BULLYING SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about CYBER-BULLYING in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What did you think when you read the headline?
  2. What do you know about cyber-bullying?
  3. Have you ever had a bad experience online?
  4. Do you worry about giving personal information to websites?
  5. Have you ever got angry with someone online?
  6. What punishment do you think governments should give to cyber-bullies?
  7. How would you feel if someone put embarrassing photos of you on the Internet?
  8. What is your biggest complaint about the Internet?
  9. Have you ever been bullied – online or offline?
  10. What dangers are there online?

-------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Do you (or would you like to) belong to a social networking site?
  3. Do you think you make yourself more vulnerable by putting your personal information online?
  4. Have you ever visited sites like MySpace and Facebook?
  5. What are your favourite websites and why do you like them?
  6. Why do you think people want to bully others?
  7. How harmful do you think cyber-bullying could be?
  8. Do you think the Internet will become more dangerous in the future?
  9. What questions would you like to ask a cyber-bully?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

Cyber-bullying spreads in the US

A new report (1) ____ the influence of the Internet on US teens reports that one third of teenagers who surf the Net have been victims (2) ____ cyber-bullying. The research, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, says: “About one third of all teenagers who use the internet say they have been targets of a range of annoying and (3) ____ menacing online activities – such as receiving threatening messages; having their private emails or text messages (4) ____ without consent; having an embarrassing picture posted without permission; or having rumors about them (5) ____ online.” However, the most common complaint from online teens was about private information being shared rather than (6) ____ threats or physical violence. Teenagers still believe that worse bullying happens offline.

The report discovered that (7) ____ more young people join social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, they are making themselves vulnerable (8) ____ sharing more of their personal information online for cyber-bullies to find. The survey found that 39% of social network users had been cyber-bullied in (9) ____ way, compared to 22% of online teens who had never used social networks. Report author Amanda Lenhart commented: "Bullying has entered the digital age. The (10) ____ behind it are the same, but the (11) ____ is magnified. In the past, the materials of bullying would have been whispered, shouted or passed (12) ____. Now, with a few clicks, a photo, video or a conversation can be shared with hundreds via e-mail or millions through a website, online profile or blog posting."

1.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

with

2.

(a)

of

(b)

in

(c)

by

(d)

with

3.

(a)

potently

(b)

potent

(c)

potentially

(d)

potential

4.

(a)

backwards

(b)

forwards

(c)

forward

(d)

forwarded

5.

(a)

spread

(b)

spreads

(c)

spreading

(d)

sped

6.

(a)

direction

(b)

directed

(c)

direct

(d)

indirect

7.

(a)

so

(b)

as

(c)

such

(d)

with

8.

(a)

on

(b)

in

(c)

at

(d)

by

9.

(a)

that

(b)

this

(c)

same

(d)

some

10.

(a)

pulse

(b)

impulses

(c)

pulses

(d)

pulsate

11.

(a)

affection

(b)

affect

(c)

effect

(d)

effects

12.

(a)

around

(b)

over

(c)

up

(d)

down

WRITING: 

Write about cyber-bullying for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about cyber-bullying. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES: Make a poster on different social networking sites. What is good about them? How are they different? Show your posters to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about the effects of being bullied online.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Which article was best and why?

5. LETTER: Write a letter to someone who is being bullied online. Ask them three questions about how the bullying is affecting their life. Give them three suggestions about what they can do to deal with the bullying. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

influence

a.

impact

2

victims

b.

injured parties

3.

menacing

c.

threatening

4.

consent

d.

permission

5.

spread

e.

circulated

6.

vulnerable

f.

weak

7.

commented

g.

remarked

8.

impulses

h.

urges

9.

magnified

i.

increased

10.

profile

j.

description

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

A new report on the influence

a.

of the Internet on US teens

2

annoying and potentially

b.

menacing online activities

3.

having rumors about them

c.

spread online

4.

the most common

d.

complaint from online teens

5.

Teenagers still believe that worse

e.

bullying happens offline

6.

making themselves

f.

vulnerable

7.

39% of social network

g.

users had been cyber-bullied

8.

Bullying has entered the

h.

digital age

9.

the effect

i.

is magnified

10.

through a website, online profile

j.

or blog posting

GAP FILL:

Cyber-bullying spreads in the US

A new report on the influence of the Internet on US teens reports that one third of teenagers who surf the Net have been victims of cyber-bullying. The research, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, says: “About one third of all teenagers who use the internet say they have been targets of a range of annoying and potentially menacing online activities – such as receiving threatening messages; having their private emails or text messages forwarded without consent; having an embarrassing picture posted without permission; or having rumors about them spread online.” However, the most common complaint from online teens was about private information being shared rather than direct threats or physical violence. Teenagers still believe that worse bullying happens offline.

The report discovered that as more young people join social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, they are making themselves vulnerable by sharing more of their personal information online for cyber-bullies to find. The survey found that 39% of social network users had been cyber-bullied in some way, compared to 22% of online teens who had never used social networks. Report author Amanda Lenhart commented: "Bullying has entered the digital age. The impulses behind it are the same, but the effect is magnified. In the past, the materials of bullying would have been whispered, shouted or passed around. Now, with a few clicks, a photo, video or a conversation can be shared with hundreds via e-mail or millions through a website, online profile or blog posting."

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - b

2 - a

3 - c

4 - d

5 - a

6 - c

7 - b

8 - d

9 - d

10 - b

11 - c

12 - a

 

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