Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bullying and the Power of Words


We had an amazing class today. I am so impressed with your ability to interact respectfully during discussions and to disagree with tact and maturity.

We started today's class by reading an article about a study done in Finland. This study focused on the long term effects of bullying on boys and girls, bullies and victims alike. The study found that children and teens who're bullied and who bully others are more likely to have psychological and physical problems in their adult lives. From this article, we pulled powerful words that stood out to us personally. There is no right and wrong in an activity such as this. Some of the words you chose from this first article are: consequences, depression, and victim.

Next, you all had your own article to read. Each article was different and each of you needed to report out a summary so that everyone could hear your case. As you were reading your articles, I asked you to highlight the most powerful words in your article. You all found at least two and wrote your words on note cards that I provided to you. We posted these note cards with the original words from the first article and talked about why we chose our words.

Over and over, you all gave deep rationalizations about the words you chose and were able to connect these words to personal experience or something you'd seen on television. We kept going back to the fact that words carry an enormous amount of power and weight. We're going to continue to reflect upon these words and others as we make our way through our first book, Speak, which tells the story of a girl who is horribly bullied during her freshman year of high school.

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