Big Idea: Bullying

Mar 10, 2019

3d characters one excluded from groupEven with the expansion of prevention programs and greater awareness bullying continues to be a significant problem across all countries, communities, and contexts. Bullying is a significant big idea that needs to be thoroughly and contextually considered to develop meaningful and sustainable solutions. Sometimes we tend to jump to solutions and implement programs before fully understanding the overarching problems and contextualizing the challenges. There is no shortage of plans and resources for addressing bullying, but make sure you understand your challenge first.

Take the time to ask personal and contextual questions, to define terms, to explore causes and to learn everything you can about your specific environment. Slow down, reflect and make sure there is ownership of the problem and ultimately the solutions.


Big Idea:Bullying
Essential Question:Why does bullying occur and what can we do about it?
Challenge: Understand and Eliminate Bullying!

Sample Guiding Questions

These are only example questions we encourage you to ask as many personal and contextual questions as possible.

  1. What are the definitions of bullying?
  2. What is the opposite of bullying?
  3. Are there different definitions?
  4. Do we agree with the definitions?
  5. What is our definition?
  6. Why is bullying a problem?
  7. Why do people become bullies?
  8. If I am not bullied, why should I be concerned?
  9. Who is being bullied?
  10. How can we detect bullying?
  11. What do we know about bullying?
  12. What does bullying look like?
  13. What conditions create the opportunity for bullying?
  14. What is the psychology of bullying?
  15. Do bullies know they are bullies?
  16. Are there specific ages or grade levels when bullying can be better addressed?
  17. What skills do you need stop people from bullying?
  18. Are there programs that are successful in stopping bullying?
  19. What are the qualities of these programs?
  20. What can science tell us about bullying?
  21. What can history tell us about bullying?
  22. What can mathematics tell us about bullying?
  23. What can literature tell us about bullying?
  24. Etc.

*Once you brainstorm all of the questions organize and prioritize them.


Guiding Activities and Resources
These are only a set of example activities and resources and the learners will need to evaluate the quality of the content. They are not verified or necessarily supported, just examples. The ones that you choose should be in direct relationship to your specific guiding questions and context. Activities and resources for adults, adolescents, and younger children will be different. The goal is to develop solutions that mean something in your community and are sustainable.

Example Activities

  1. Review the definitions of bullying, bullies and bullied and develop consensus on the vocabulary
  2. Create a picture of what bullying looks like
  3. Create a picture of the opposite of bullying.
  4. Review current policies on bullying
  5. Determine when and where bullying tends to occur.
  6. Determine the common factors in incidents of bullying in your specific context.
  7. Identify why people do not intervene when they see bullying.
  8. Understand how bullying is detected in your context
  9. Explore bullying and related concepts through the lenses of different content areas.
  10. Review research on anti-bullying programs to see what works and what does not.
  11. Contact a variety of organizations in place to address bullying
  12. Etc.

Example Resources

  6. Etc.


Using the research findings from your Investigations develop a synthesis that demonstrates a clear understanding of the challenge. For help with creating a synthesis explore this resource.

Solution Prototypes – Using your research synthesis create multiple ideas for solutions and review each one to make sure your research supports it. Share the prototypes with various stakeholders and get feedback.

Solution – with the feedback from the stakeholders develop one solution that has the most potential for success.


Implement – Develop a plan to implement the solution with the stakeholders and collect data about the impact.

Evaluate – Using quantitative and qualitative measures determine if the solution is valid and what can be improved.


Throughout the experience take time to document the events and reflect on what is happening to build on prior knowledge and identify future questions.

Share what you learned with your local community and the world. Use #CBLWorld on social media.