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Understanding The Bullying Bystander: Greatest American Hero

Brief Description/Purpose

To help participants understand the role of bystanders in bullying, and what they can do to intervene in bully situations.

Many people just stand by and watch when someone is bullied. This lesson explores the role of the bystander in bullying and how you can help prevent bullying.

  • Understand what it means to be a bystander.
  • Learn ways to prevent bullying when it is experienced by others


Group discussion and art project

Age Appropriate

 With modification can suit any age.

Ideal Group Size

Discussion groups of about 6-8 people but you can have multiple groups.

Time For Exercise

30 minutes Plus


Bullying and Bystanders

Detailed Instructions If Needed

Part A (5 minutes)
1) In a larger group (or divide into smaller groups with one leader in each group) present the following questions for discussion.

  1. What is a bystander?
  2. Do you think bystanders can be neutral when they see others being bullied?
  3. How do you feel when you see others bullied? What do you usually do?
  4. What are some things bystanders can do to stop bullying in their schools?

Part B (25 minutes)
1) Divide the participants into groups of 8-12 people. Give each group a boxof arts & crafts supplies and a large sheet or paper about 6 feet of paper from a paper roll.
2) Tell them that their job is to draw “The Greatest American Hero” or someone that can STOP BULLYING IN A SINGLE BOUND!” Using the arts and crafts supplies they should draw an approximately life size person (if someone fits on the paper they can trace around them) and create their own super hero against bullying. 

3) They should come up with a name for the person and draw what he/she would look like. On the side list the “stats” of the superhero such as those things that make this person able to stand up to a bully.
4) If time permits, ask each group to share their person and some of their characteristics.
5) Process your activity.

 Additional Information if Available


While the second part of this exercise may seem juvenile or inappropriate for adults, it can still work. Remember that a lot of the time adults actually like to get permission to do some things that caused them happiness in the past. This CAN be fun.