group of young people writing on butchers paper

Lesson plan: Building a better online world

Timeframe

This exercise should run for about 30 minutes, but we recommend allowing for the flexibility to adapt to group dynamics and discussion

Outcomes

  • Students have explored different risks and rewards in challenging bullying, hate and prejudice
  • Students have reflected on their own online behaviours, limits and potential to create positive change
  • Students have an improved understanding of diverse perspectives among their peers and other people in their online community

Description

This is a group brainstorming activity, designed to facilitate peer-based learning in your classroom.

All you’ll need is 5 pieces of butchers paper, a coloured marker for each student and some music to build the vibes. What will help this activity most is your authenticity as you genuinely join students in reflecting on these questions and their responses.

Instructions

Place sheets of butcher’s paper around the room with one of following questions written on each:

  1. What are some of the risks in standing up to online hate?
  2. What are some of the rewards in standing up to online hate?
  3. What skills do people need to learn to create a positive online world?
  4. What messages do different people often get about themselves from social media?
  5. What messages do you want people to get about themselves from social media?

Give each student a coloured marker. Next, give them time to go around the room adding their own responses to each question. Let them know ahead of time that we’re looking for genuine answers and that any prank responses will be crossed out. Put some music on to keep the energy up.

group of young people writing on butchers paper

After about 5 minutes, ask everyone to pause and take a seat. You or another student can share their responses with the class. Take another 2-3 minutes for students to go around the room again, this time their task is to underline the responses that resonate with them the most. This is an opportunity for students to consider and endorse their peers opinions.

This can be an effective exercise to get students thinking about how they can create positive social interactions online. If they have been really receptive to the first part of the activity, an optional group follow up is to pose the fifth and final question “what are some of the ways that different people can help make a more positive online world for others?” Encourage students to consider this question from different perspectives, different confidence levels and different ages. You can brainstorm these answers on a whiteboard, take a photo and share this with the class.

Responses to questions 4 and 5 can be a great starting point for students who may wish to contribute a video or written message to the online action hub. They can also view other young people’s responses here.

This lesson plan is provided as part of PROJECT ROCKIT Digital Ambassadors, powered by Facebook and Instagram. You can learn more about this partnership here.