Lesson 1: Screen Out the Mean


This lesson helps children to recognize that it is essential to tell a trusted adult if something online makes them feel angry, sad, or scared.

Students learn that other people can sometimes act like bullies when they are online. They will explore what cyberbullying means and what they can do when they encounter it. After reading a scenario about mean online behavior, students discuss what cyberbullying is, how it can make people feel, and how to respond. Finally, they use their knowledge to create a simple tip sheet on cyberbullying in their journal.


Students may not ever have the misfortune of experiencing cyberbullying, but we want to make sure that the students are prepared for and knowledgeable about it, in case they ever witness it during an online situation. Students will learn how to identify cyberbullying and what steps they should take to make it stop. This may become helpful in later puzzles when students have the opportunity to share their work. If someone negatively responds to a student's work, this lesson will provide them with the tools that they need to handle the situation.


Warm Up (5 min)

Main Activity (35 min)

Wrap Up (15 min)

Assessment (5 - 10 min)

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Students will be able to:

  • Analyze online behaviors that could be considered cyberbullying.
  • Explain how to deal with a cyberbullying situation.
  • Recognize the importance of engaging a trusted adult if the student experienced cyberbullying.


  • Per student, print one Screen Out the Mean - Worksheet and one Screen Out the Mean - Assessment.
  • Make sure every student has a Think Spot Journal - Reflection Journal.


Heads Up! Please make a copy of any documents you plan to share with students.

For the Teachers

For the Students


  • Cyberbullying - Doing something on the internet, usually again and again, to make another personal feel angry, sad, or scared.
  • Online - Connected to the internet.


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Teaching Guide

Warm Up (5 min)



Encourage students to share what they know about bullying.


  • What kinds of things count as bullying?
    • Students should understand that bullying is behavior that is purposefully mean or scary to someone else. For example, making fun of how someone looks, telling lies about them, or threatening to do something bad to them.
  • How does bullying make other people feel?
    • Hurt, angry, upset, scared
  • What is the best thing to do when you feel bullied, or when you see someone else being bullied?
    • Students should know to always tell a trusted adult when they experience or witness bullying.


Students will be learning about a kind of bullying that can take place when they use the internet.

Main Activity (35 min)

What Is Cyberbullying?


  • Online: Connected to the internet

  • Cyberbullying: Doing something on the internet, usually again and again, to make another person feel angry, sad, or scared


Some kids do not go online very much at all, either because of their family’s rules or because they do not like it very much. Other kids do go online to do different things.


  • What do you do online, or what do you think you might like to do?
    • Students may mention activities like sending messages to friends and playing games.


Most of the time when students go online it is to do fun or interesting things. But sometimes people can be mean to each other online and this is called cyberbullying.


  • Did you ever see someone make someone else feel bad online?
    • Answers will vary. Remind students to tell what happened, but not to use real names.


Tell students that they will be learning more about how cyberbullying occurs, and what to do when it happens to them or to someone they know.

What to Do About Cyberbullying

Discussion Goal

Questions to stimulate discussion include:

  • What do you think happened to Jada's game?
  • How do you think Jada, Kyle, or Sasha felt when these things happened to them?
  • How do you know if someone is cyberbullying you?
  • Why do you think it is important to stop using the computer when someone starts cyberbullying you?
    • It's possible that if students stay online, the cyberbullying may continue or get worse.


Teacher Tip:

These scenarios can be read all at once and discussed as a whole, or be read and discussed individually.

Read aloud these two scenarios and discuss them briefly with the class.

  • Kyle keeps getting instant messages from someone saying means things about him. The person who is sending the messages doesn’t use a real name, but Kyle can tell the messages are coming from someone who also makes fun of him at school in gym class.
  • Sasha is a new girl at school, and she’s making a lot of friends. Then Sasha finds out that another girl sent around an email that had a picture of a cow with Sasha’s name on it.

Distribute: Pass out a Screen Out the Mean - Worksheet to each student. Read aloud the story at the top and ask students to work in pairs or groups to finish the worksheet.

Ask the class to discuss to Jada's story. Tell the class there are specific steps to handling a cyberbully.

  • Jada should STOP using the computer.
  • Jada should TELL an adult she trusts what happened.
  • Jada should not go back online or return to the pony website until an adult says it is OK.
  • If Jada and Michael are good friends, Jada may want to tell Michael how his actions made her feel after she gets help from an adult.
  • If Michael continues cyberbullying her, she should play with other kids who don't cyberbully others.

In general, there are four steps students should take if they or someone they know are experiencing cyberbullying.

  1. Stop using the computer until it is safe.
  2. Tell an adult you trust.
  3. Go online only when a trusted adult says it is okay.
  4. Play online only with kids who you know and are nice.

Wrap Up (15 min)

Flash Chat: What did we learn?


  • What is cyberbullying. How does it make people feel?
    • Students should recognize that cyberbullying is any kind of online behavior that makes people feel sad, scared, angry or upset.
  • What four things can you do to help stop cyberbullying?

    S. Stop using the computer until it is safe.

    T. Tell an adult you trust.

    O. Go Online only when a trusted adult says it is okay.

    P. Play online only with kids who are nice.

  • What is the most important thing to do if someone starts cyberbullying you?

    • Telling a trusted adult is the most important response whenever someone makes them feel sad, scared, or angry online.


Having students write about what they learned, why it’s useful, and how they feel about it can help solidify any knowledge they obtained today and build a review sheet for them to look to in the future.

Journal Prompts:

  • What was today’s lesson about?
  • How did you feel during today’s lesson?
  • Write down the names of some trusted adults you can go to if you ever feel bullied.
  • What are the four steps you should take if you or someone you know is being cyberbullied.

Assessment (5 - 10 min)

Pass out one Screen Out the Mean - Assessment to each student. Allow students a few minutes to complete it then review the answers with the class (see Screen Out the Mean - Assessment Answer Key). If there's time, allow for a discussion about the questions.

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Student Instructions

Standards Alignment

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CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards (2017)

IC - Impacts of Computing
  • 1A-IC-17 - Work respectfully and responsibly with others online.

Cross-curricular Opportunities

This list represents opportunities in this lesson to support standards in other content areas.

Common Core English Language Arts Standards

L - Language
  • 2.L.6 - Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).
SL - Speaking & Listening
  • 2.SL.1 - Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • 2.SL.1.a - Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • 2.SL.1.b - Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.

Common Core Math Standards

MP - Math Practices
  • MP.1 - Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • MP.3 - Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
  • MP.6 - Attend to precision
  • MP.7 - Look for and make use of structure

Next Generation Science Standards

ETS - Engineering in the Sciences
ETS1 - Engineering Design
  • K-2-ETS1-1 - Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.