Dear Educators,

 

Sharing this true story with students, teachers and administrators continues to be an honor for me and my team. When I was first writing this show, I could never have imagined the outpouring of support that I would receive from students. The Question-and-Answer sessions are remarkable and enlightening — the students ask such insightful questions and often want to keep talking with me after the session has concluded. Being a part of their lives, even briefly, fills me with a great sense of pride and hope. It is truly and extraordinary feeling and we look forward to bringing our show to your school, too.

 Sincerely,

Lee

“The school assembly to end all school assemblies.”

Eric Grode

The New York Times

Curriculum

Introduction

The Curriculum: We’re All In This Together!

We’re All In This Together curriculum is designed to complement the Bully Show through interactive activities that promote self-esteem, confidence, and empathy. The lessons incorporate scenes from the show to address various forms of bullying, including: cyber bullying, physical bullying, and gender harassment.

How is this curriculum unique?

We’re All In This Together incorporates engaging and creative activities in the arts that directly link to the theme of the Bully performance. Rather than focus on hypothetical scenarios of bullying, students will look from within by focusing on their own environment and how this impacts their personal experiences. Students reflect on their school, their neighborhood, their personal traits and experiences and engage in thoughtful activities that will build their individual and collective efficacy to strengthen their school community’s effort to eliminate bullying!

“Didn’t you have any friends who could have helped you? Had I been there, I would have been your friend.”
– Middle school student after watching the Bully performance

Everyone has a role and responsibility in their community. In addition to creating a safe bully-free school environment, this curriculum hopes to move beyond the school walls, to encourage students, teachers, parents, and other community members to think about the roles that each person can play to promote a safe bully-free environment.

The Lessons
Driving Principles:
Establish a trusting environment (develop protocol with students)
Promote empathy
Build/reinforce positive self-esteem
Community connections

45 – 50 min Project Based Lessons:
Quick Write: Journal entry
Setting the Tone: Introduction to the theme/lesson’s objective
Small Group Activity
Individual or partner work
Coming Together: Reflection

The Units
Unit 1: All About Me and My School Community
1.1 Who Am I? – Students reflect on their internal and physical traits and discuss image and stereotypes. Who Are We? – Students examine the similarities and differences that comprise their class.

1.2 Map It – Students map out their school community and discuss the ways in which cliques impact the different spaces in the school. They identify their “safe” spaces in school.

Unit 2: Outside Influences
2.1 Word! – Students associate certain words and images with either positive or negative messages and understand how words impact people and society in particular ways.

2.2 Our Heroes – Students identify people who influence their lives from the media (pop stars, TV stars, movie stars, and other icons).

2.3 Gender and Identity – Students break down the stereotypes that affect our personal self-images as it relates to gender biases and images.

Unit 3: Cyber Bullying
3.1 Guilty! – Students reflect on their personal cyber behavior and discuss how to become responsible Social Media participants.

3.2 Be a Witness – Students will learn about the effects of cyber bullying and report on an incident from the perspective of a witness.

Unit 4: Building Alliances
4.1 Letter of Recommendation– Students write statements of purpose for themselves and letters of recommendations for each other.

Unit 5: Confronting the Bully
5.1 The Fear Factor – Students use figurative language to describe a bully (or bullies). They will develop their writing into personified fictional characters that represent the bully/(ies).

5.2 Scene 3, Take 1! – Students will be able to construct a scene that reflects bullying today.

5.3 My Best Self – Students create a scene, comic strip, children’s story, poster, or song that confronts the bully/ies in their lives (or the lives of people they know) by developing a representation of their “best selves.”

Unit 6: The Solo Show
6.1 What is the Solo Show? – Students view different solo performances and identify the elements of a solo show.

6.2 Finding Your Idea – Students find inspiration from their previous writing to develop an idea into a solo performance.

6.3 Storytelling – Students develop their ideas into a storyline.

6.4 Writing Your Story – Students write a draft of their story to share.

A Note About Cultural Sensitivity and Behavior Protocols

The topics that are addressed in the curriculum are often difficult to confront and discuss with peers. Since the curriculum aims to look within, rather than to observe and comment on hypothetical people and situations, students will be asked to reflect on personal experiences and feelings. Therefore, it is essential to create behavior norms prior to the lessons and to consistently remind students of this protocol throughout the curriculum. One way to establish norms is to include students in the process. You can begin the discussion and have the class identify the behavior norms that will help create a safe zone for all students to engage with the curriculum.
To facilitate the conversation, consider having students discuss:
How can we create a safe space in our classroom?
How can we maintain everyone’s privacy?
What are the discussion protocols (listening, responding, etc.)?
How can we ensure participation from everyone while maintaining a high level of comfort?

Students are encouraged to be creative and honest in the activities. We want to respect their privacy and confidentiality. Their journals are private and they are not required to share their entries if they choose not to.

The goal for the curriculum is to reflect on your community in order to address the root causes and signs of bullying and to transform the negative into a more positive and safe environment for the whole community. It is not an easy task – if it were easy, we would not still be dealing with cases of bullying today. Conquering bullying is a collective effort – we are all in this together!

Lesson Sample: Our Heroes

Bully the Show: Unit 2
Outside Influences

Lesson 2.2: Our Heroes Grades: 6th – 12th
Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify and list the characteristics of people who inspire others and list the character traits that they would like to embody if they could create a “super-self” image.

Lesson Sequence (45 minutes)
1. Journal Entry (3 – 5 minutes)
2. Video Clips (15 minutes)
3. Superhero Characteristics (15min)
4. Reflection (5-7 min)

Materials:
Journals (can be digital or notebook)
Superhero Characteristics Worksheets
Chart paper with markers

LESSON

I. Journal Entry (3 min): One of Lee’s favorite quotes from the movie, “Rocky,” is when Rocky says, “It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Who are some characters in movies, books, or TV shows that inspire you? Why or how do they inspire you?

II. Characters Who Inspire – Share (10 min)
1) In groups of four, tell students to share the names that they wrote down and discuss why they view these people as influential. Ask each group to chart the positive and negative characteristics of the top three people or characters that they (as a group) believe to be the most influential among people they know.

2) Have each group share their charts and hang up in the room.

III. Looking for Inspiration (10-15 min)
3) Students can work individually or in pairs, depending on the resources in the room. Ask students to research the people that they admire – these can be superhero fictional characters, characters portrayed in movies or TV shows, or real people (dead or alive). Look for a quote or action that encapsulates the inspiration for their characters.

4) Create a digital (or paper) poster of their character. Make sure to include the top three character traits that they find inspirational and one quote from the character that embodies inspiration.

IV. Reflection (5-10 min)
5) Complete the worksheet on “What Makes a Hero Super?”

6) Guide a discussion with students using the following questions:
What did you notice about the people that different groups chose to identify as people that they admire? Were there many people in common? Why do you think yes or no?

Are the traits that you wrote down as things that you admire about your personal “heroes” achievable traits? Why do you think/or don’t think so?

EXTENSION

Ask students to begin compiling information about a super-self that they would like to create. They should begin to list the physical traits they would like to embody as well as the internal characteristics that they would have as this character.

FAQS

Q: What age range is appropriate for the show?

A: We have performed in high schools and middle schools. We recommend students ages 10+ see the show.

Q: Do you need a proper theatre space?

A: We do not require a proper theatre space and we’ve performed the show in makeshift theatres and auditoriums in some of the schools we’ve visited. As long as the projection and sound requirements can be met, we can make it happen.

Q: What do you typically charge?

A: Performance rates vary and we are more than willing to work with you to find an agreeable rate.

Q: What is included?

A: The cost includes a performance of the show, followed by a Question and Answer session with the audience.

Tech Specs

Lighting (optional requirements)

The following four lighting “looks” are employed during each performance of Bully​.

  • Look 1: A general wash of the entire stage allowing for upstage and downstage movement. Typically involves white lights only. Used throughout the show.
  • Look 2: A more focused lighting setup only centerstage and downstage right. Typically involves white lights only. Used during four “Mrs. DoLittle” segments of the show.
  • Look 3: The boxing ring used five times over the course of the show. Typically involves a mixture of white and red lights to give the feel of a boxing ring on the stage.
  • Look 4: An intimate lighting look used in a handful of moments throughout the show. Typically involves soft, white spotlights center stage.

Sound & projections

Performer will provide a MacBook Air laptop (with VGA Female In adapter) to run sound and projection cues from the Q­Lab software. Performer will also provide a video adaptor and a 100 ft. VGA to VGA (male to male) cable to connect the laptop to the projection unit. Note that the projection image should fill 75% of the space on the screen so that the projections can be clearly seen. Additionally, a general PA system that fills the space will be required for the sound cues.

Other Notes

  • Ideally, this show is run by a single operator. If lighting & sound boards aren’t physically next
  • to each other, there needs to be a second operator.
  • The ideal performance space is 20’ x 20’
  • Ideally, the projection screen should be located stage left of the playing area, but other
  • positions are also manageable.