Anti-Bullying Week Activity: How can we break the cycle of victim hood?

by | May 3, 2018

Anti-Bullying Week Activity: How can we break the cycle of victim hood?

Bullying & Cyberbullying of all kinds can have devastating effects on the mental well being and attainment of students. Bullying also causes huge amounts of stress and negatively impacts on the self-confidence of the victim.

That’s why in our anti-bullying workshops for primary schools we equip students with ways to beat stress, reduce anxiety and build their confidence. We’re bringing you a simple and fun anti-bullying week activity for primary school teachers to use for anti-bullying week 2018. Before we get into the activity, here’s some background on the research.

The term Power Posing was coined by Amy Cuddy a social psychologist, author and TED speaker. She found that the way we use our bodies can radically alter the chemistry in our brains. By using our bodies we can create a powerful de-stressing effect that causes us to feel a greater sense of control. This is as simple as standing in a ‘power pose’ for as little as two minutes.

Here are some examples of power poses:

Such as the CEO:

Superman…

And the performer.

Participants in a study were found to perform better in exams and job interviews after holding these poses for two minutes.

Why?…

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, when our fight or flight response is triggered or when feel anxious or unsafe we release cortisol into our blood stream. Increased levels of cortisol makes it harder to concentrate, it causes us interact less socially and over a long term can cause our brains to physically shrink in size. When our brains are full of cortisol, we tend to hold our body in a closed way.

Like this….

Or this…

Holding our bodies in this way reinforces the pattern of feeling stressed, anxious and powerless.

How does this relate to teaching anti-bullying in schools?

We believe in teaching students how to use their bodies to feel and act more confidently can help them break out of a cycle of victimhood and powerlessness. Let’s teach power posing to our students for anti-bullying week 2018. This can provide them with a practical skill that can positively impact their self-confidence.

Of course, tackling bullying is not as simple as holding a pose for two minutes. But by teaching power posing we can begin to teach students how to feel and act more confidently when they need to.

In your next lesson on Anti-Bullying…

Introduce the idea feeling unsafe or scared. Get the students to describe of the physical sensations of this feel are like.

What does feeling scared feel like?

Where in our bodies do we feel it?

Ask the students how we hold our bodies when we feel scared of nervous.

How does someone look when they feel scared?

How does someone stand when they feel nervous or unsafe?

Get some of the students to act out how this would look. One student may want to volunteer to show the rest of the class.

Now ask the students…What does it feel like to feel confident?

Get the students to act out how someone would stand if they felt confident. Explain that they’re going to learn a new trick they can use to make that feeling go away. And can help them to feel more confident. Get your class up on their feet. Do a short warm up to music, moving each part of the body one at a time. From the head all the way down to the toes.

Now get your students to stand in the performer pose for two minutes:

Get the students to sit down and ask them how they feel after doing the Power Pose. Go over how changing our bodies can help us to feel more confident.

Explain that we can use this Power Pose before school in the morning so we feel more confident.

This can also be a great pre-class warm up to get students in a good state of mind to take part in any class. Make the exercise fun and repeat it throughout anti-bullying week so the students get chance to remember how to use Power Posing when they need it the most.

We’d love to hear about your experience using this anti-bullying activity, let us know at openvieweducation@gmail.com

We run Anti-Bullying Workshops for Primary Schools for KS1 and KS2 students throughout the year. For full details of our anti-bullying workshops and anti-bullying roadshows check this page or give us a call on 075979 84841

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