I know, we teachers are busy. We barely have enough time to teach the required standards much less add anti-bullying lessons to boot. So here’s a lesson that incorporates both writing standards and peace education. Here the learner will become familiar with the format for a friendly letter while empowering him/herself to confront an imaginary bully. Materials: Lined paper, pencils, chart paper, white board or electronic whiteboard. Sample of a friendly letter. Procedure:
- Go over the parts of a friend letter:
Friendly Letter Format
heading: Contains if mailed. Just date if not first line – street number and street name second line – town or city, state and ZIP code third line – the date greeting or salutation: Dear So-and-so, (remember your comma!) introduction: Here there might be questions about how the recipient is, etc. body: This is the main part of the letter. It gets to the point of why you’re writing. Change paragraphs and indent each time you change the topic you’re talking about. This is the longest part of the letter. conclusion: Wrap it all up. Be clever. closing: Choose an appropriate closing like “Sincerely, Yours truly, Your friend.” Make sure this lines up with the heading. Only the first word is capitalized. signature: Usually in cursive. Goes directly under the closing.
- Ask students to give examples of a time they were bullied in the past. List on the board.
- Ask students what they would want the bully to know, if he/she could talk to them today. Make sure that all responses avoid name calling, revenge, retaliation, or violence. The goal here is to ask for empathy from the bully.
- Explain that they will be writing a letter to a bully of the past. If they cannot think of a prior situation they may invent one.
- Model how to write the letter on board.
- Students write their own letters.
Evaluation: Were the students able to follow the proper format for a friendly letter and share feelings in assertive yet nonviolent ways? Follow up: This could be considered a rough draft and the students could revise for figurative language use, more in depth detail, or any off-topic sentences. They could also edit for mechanics. Let me know how it goes!