FallOUT: for teachers

Lesson Plans

Dealing With Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying and Civic Participation

This lesson allows students to explore the concepts of rules, values and ethics and learn how they influence our decision-making. Students are then invited to consider how they can contribute to create positive online cultures.

Duration: 1½ – 2 hours

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • understand the role of rules, values and ethics in helping us do the right thing
  • learn how to be take positive action when they witness cyberbullying
  • suggest rules for preventing cyberbullying



Cyberbullying and the Law

Duration: 2 hours


In this lesson, students learn about and discuss the legal aspects of cyberbullying. They review a variety of hypothetical scenarios and a case study, and they consider the seriousness of the situations, who is legally responsible, what action (if any) should be taken and by whom. To determine this, students will seek answers to the following questions: How does cyberbullying differ from offline bullying? What aspects of a cyberbullying case make it a cause for legal action? What determines whether it is a civil or a criminal matter? How should rights to freedom of expression, guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, be balanced against rights to security of person? When and how are schools responsible for cyberbullying cases?

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • analyze scenarios and case studies, and make judgments on them
  • consider and discuss factors that affect whether online actions are, in fact, cyberbullying
  • demonstrate knowledge of legal terms and definitions related to cyberbullying
  • demonstrate knowledge of responsible citizenship and ethical behaviour online
  • become familiar with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • argue and support an opinion



Understanding Cyberbullying : Virtual vs. Physical Worlds

Duration: 2-3 hours


In this lesson, students explore the verbal and visual cues that we rely on to understand how other people are feeling. They then consider the differences between online and offline communication and discuss how these differences may make it difficult to understand the effect our words and actions have on others online. Students then identify strategies for mitigating these aspects of online communication and apply those strategies to create a media product in which they are used successfully.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • understanding of how online communication differs from face-to-face conversation
  • awareness of how the distinct attributes of online communication may contribute to inappropriate or bullying behaviour
  • recognition of cyberbullying behaviour
  • understanding of the crucial role played by witnesses, including themselves, in fuelling or stopping bullying behaviour – online and offline
  • awareness of the impact of cyberbullying on targeted individuals
  • knowledge of appropriate action to take when cyberbullying occurs
  • awareness of rules for good digital citizenship



Healthy Relationships Online

Behaving Ethically Online: Ethics and Values

Duration: 1-1 ½ hours

In this lesson, students consider how we come to hold values and how they affect our behaviour, especially online. They begin by comparing their assumptions about how common positive and negative online behaviours are with accurate statistics, and then consider how believing that something is more or less common than it really is can affect whether or not we think it’s acceptable. The teacher then uses a fable to introduce students to the ways that values can be communicated both overtly and implicitly and students discuss the ways in which their values have been communicated to them. They then turn specifically to the online context and consider what values they have learned about online behaviour and how they learned them. Finally, students consider scenarios that examine ethical questions online and role-play ways of resolving them.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • identify what values are, where they originate and how they are communicated
  • explore moral dilemmas relating to online communication
  • learn skills for managing emotions during online interactions
  • practice preventing and managing conflict during online interactions
  • create a media product



Promoting Ethical Behaviour Online

Duration: 2-3 hours


In this lesson, students learn about ways to manage their privacy and reputation online by exploring their digital presence and to make good choices about sharing other people’s content online. Students explore how they are portrayed online through their own content and content posted or shared by others, and research tools for controlling access to their online content. Finally, students explore moral dilemmas relating to posting and sharing personal material.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:

  • an understanding of how their online activities reflect on them
  • an understanding of the importance of ethical behaviour and reputation management in various online environments
  • an understanding of the importance of managing one’s privacy online
  • consideration of ethical issues when sharing others’ online content



That’s Not Cool: Healthy and Respectful Relationships Online

Duration: 1-2 hours


In this lesson, students begin by considering one of five scenarios that illustrate unhealthy relationship behaviours relating to digital media: pressuring others to share private content, cyberstalking, harassment and abuse of trust. Students then relate the scenarios to their own experience by brainstorming other examples of these behaviours and voting on which they feel are most relevant to their lives. The teacher then leads a guided discussion on the reasons why unhealthy behaviours may be more common when we communicate through digital media and ways in which they can be avoided or mitigated. Finally, students act out their own scenario in which they portray young people successfully dealing with one of the unhealthy relationship behaviours.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • learn how to recognize healthy and unhealthy elements of relationships
  • consider aspects of digital communication that may lead to unhealthy relationships
  • reflect on the role of digital relationships in their lives
  • learn strategies for dealing with unhealthy online and offline relationships
  • create a media product



Other Classroom Resources

Digital Literacy Framework for Grades 7-8: http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/digital-literacy-framework/digital-literacy-framework-grades-7-8


Connections to Provincial Curricula:

New Brunswick

English Language Arts Grade 7: http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/digital-media-literacy-outcomes-province-territory/new-brunswick/english-language-arts-7-9/ela-7

English Language Arts Grade 8: http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/digital-media-literacy-outcomes-province-territory/new-brunswick/english-language-arts-7-9/ela-8

Health Education Grade 7: http://mediasmarts.ca/curricularoutcomechart/outcome-chart-new-brunswick-health-education-grade-7

Health Education Grade 8: http://mediasmarts.ca/curricularoutcomechart/outcome-chart-new-brunswick-health-education-grade-8


Nova Scotia

English Language Arts Grade 7: http://mediasmarts.ca/curricularoutcomechart/outcome-chart-nova-scotia-english-language-arts-grade-7

English Language Arts Grade 8: http://mediasmarts.ca/curricularoutcomechart/outcome-chart-nova-scotia-english-language-arts-grade-8

Health Education Grade 7: http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/digital-media-literacy-outcomes-province-territory/nova-scotia/health-education/outcome-chart-nova-scotia-health-education-grade-7

Healthy Living Grade 7: http://mediasmarts.ca/curricularoutcomechart/outcome-chart-nova-scotia-healthy-living-grade-7

Health Education Grade 8: http://mediasmarts.ca/teacher-resources/digital-media-literacy-outcomes-province-territory/nova-scotia/health-education/outcome-chart-nova-scotia-health-education-grade-8

Healthy Living Grade 8: http://mediasmarts.ca/curricularoutcomechart/outcome-chart-nova-scotia-healthy-living-grade-8

Information and Communication Technology Integration 7-9: http://mediasmarts.ca/curricularoutcomechart/outcome-chart-nova-scotia-english-language-arts-grade-8

Social Studies Grade 8: http://mediasmarts.ca/curricularoutcomechart/outcome-chart-nova-scotia-social-studies-grade-8





Raising Ethical Kids For a Networked World

The Raising Ethical Kids For a Networked World tutorial examines some of the moral dilemmas that kids face in their online activities and shares some strategies to help them build the social and emotional intelligence that’s needed to support ethical decision making – and build resiliency if things go wrong.