02 May Station 6: Words hurt, education soothes
Bullying is, undeniably, one of the worst problems a teacher may encounter during school hours. It’s a disgrace, a shameful affaire that should be tacked by students, parents and teachers alike, promoting zero tolerance towards the bully and total support towards the victims of these behaviours. Such an important issue should be inserted as soon as possible in the students’ radar, in a nuanced way at first and progressively more insistently.
The poem we analyzed days ago, “Words Hurt”, is a very good example. Using tools such as word-clouds achieves a high level of interest and engagement (colourful words, highlighted adjectives, attractive layout of the concepts, etc.) without losing focus on the matter. We used the Wordle App, and came up with something like this:
We should design (and strongly suggest as compulsory) an activity to be performed in every school towards raising awareness of bullying. The actual teaching would involve the study and comprehension of formal aspects and grammar, such as conditionals, modal verbs and the revising of verbal tenses in the “Words Hurt” poem.
The post-teaching activity would have as its main objective to gather the students in several groups and assigning different tasks that they need to complete by collaborating with each other. They should think about and discuss the several ways on which bullying may happen, the way it may affect the bullied person (physically, psychologically, and professionally), etc.
The poem puts quite a lot of gravitas within the power of words, especially negative words that may start up a bullying situation in the school. Therefore, we would set up a comic strip where the disrespect and hate of the bully can be represented in a simple manner. In order to create it, we would use the GoAnimate Online tool.
This comic could be easily posted in Edmodo, Fakebook, KidBlog or any other educational network. It would be used in the post-teaching activities, once the students have already gotten in touch with the subject: how important are words towards garnering respect, learning how different and arbitrary may beauty be, how to stop bullying from happening, etc.