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Proactive SEL Lessons to Help Prevent Bullying

Posted by PATHS Program LLC on Oct 26, 2020 5:22:43 PM

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

Did you know that one in five students report being bullied? According to the National Bullying Prevention Center, having a school-wide bullying prevention program has been shown to decrease bullying by 25%? 

emozi-students-bumb-elbow-wearing-masksStudents who are bullied are at a higher risk of depression, lower academic performance, anxiety, and have a higher dropout rate. Bullying is a complex subject, and parts of it are addressed in all five CASEL competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, decision-making, and relationships skills). Some topics that cover bullying include perspective-taking, empathy, problem-solving, and having respect for others. 

The PATHS® and Emozi® Programs have a number of resources that teachers can use to help address bullying in the classroom or online if teaching remotely. 

Teachers are also encouraged to use the flexibility built into the PATHS and Emozi programs to use specific events as teachable moments. For example, holding problem-solving meetings when an issue arises or facilitating the use of the classroom mailbox to initiate discussions about bullying. 

For Elementary Students

In the PATHS Program (grades PK-5), there are explicit emotions lessons, which teachers can use to help students work through the feelings associated with bullying, as well as explicit related lessons in the list below. 

For classroom conversations in grades 4 and 5, the novel studies explore themes associated with bullying, such as the grade 4 book The Hundred Dresses, by Eleanor Estes or the grade 5 book Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. 

PATHS Program Bullying Lessons & Resources


Sad (L7), Mad or Angry (L10), Scared or Afraid (L11), Solving Problems (L26), Frustrated (L32), Worried (L35)


Scared or Afraid, Safe (L17), Mad or Angry (L18-19), Worried (L20), Self-control (L22-24), Problem-Solving (L25-26), Frustrated (L35), Lonely (L41), Making Friends (L42), Repairing Friendships (L44)


Self-control (L8), Anger Management (L9), Sad (L11), Scared or Afraid, Safe (L13), Mad or Angry (L14), Worried (L16), Problem-Solving (L20), Lonely (L22), Frustrated (L24), Tolerance (L28), Making Up With Friends (L34), Fair/Not Fair (L41), Malicious (L45), Rejected/Included (L46), Teasing (L47), Bullying (L48)


The Golden Rule (L4), Self-Control (L6-8), Problem-Solving (L9), Anger Management (L11), Tense (L12), Avoiding Gossip (L25),  We are all Unique (L26), Respecting Others (L27), Problem Identification (L28-30)


Golden Rule (L5), Problem-Solving (L6), Anger Management (L8), Problem Identification (L15), Consequences (L16), Refusal Skills (L19), Problem Solving (L21), Making New Friends (L26), Forgiving/Resentful (L31), Rejected, Excluded (L34), Gossip (L36), Bullying (L37), Helping Others in Bullying Situations (L38)


Golden Rule (L3), Ways to Calm Down (L4), Stress (L6), Problem Solving (L7), Making Good Choices (L22), Responding to Bullying (L23), Helping Others in Bullying Situations), Conflict (L27-8), Stating the Problem (L28), Sorry (L31)

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For Middle School Students

In the Emozi Program, (for students in grades 6-8), explicit lessons, self-regulation skills, gratitude challenges, reflection activities, and Socratic Seminars explore many themes related to bullying. 

Through Emozi’s Socratic Seminars, students learn how to help one another understand the ideas, issues, and values reflected in a text during a student-led group discussion. Students participate in conversations fostered by open-ended questions about the text, which encourages active listening, communication, and finding common ground.

Emozi Program Bullying Lessons & Resources*

Grade 6

  • Unit 1, Lesson 4: Bullying
  • Unit 1, Lesson 10: Decision-Making 
  • Unit 1, Lesson 11: Values
  • Unit 2, Lesson 7: Perspective-Taking
  • Unit 2, Lesson 8: Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships
  • Unit 2, Lesson 9: Making and Maintaining Friendships
  • Unit 2, Lesson 11: Gossiping
  • Socratic Seminar: A Long Walk to Water

Grade 7

  • Unit 1, Lesson 7: Morals
  • Unit 1, Lesson 11: Conflict
  • Unit 2, Lesson 1: Showing Respect
  • Unit 2, Lesson 9: Bullying
  • Unit 2, Lesson 10: Perspective
  • Unit 2, Lesson 12: Empathy
  • Socratic Seminar: Inside Out and Back Again

Grade 8

  • Unit 1, Lesson 4: Problem-Solving
  • Unit 1, Lesson 7: Belonging and Rejection 
  • Unit 1, Lesson 10: Ethics and Integrity 
  • Unit 2, Lesson 2: Human Variation 
  • Unit 2, Lesson 7: Perspective Taking
  • Unit 2, Lesson 8: Relationships
  • Unit 2, Lesson 9: Conflict
  • Unit 2, Lesson 10: Apologies and Forgiveness
  • Socratic Seminar: The Crossover

*Emozi Unit 2 Lessons will be available in December 2020. 

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Educators know their students best and will know how to address these issues in the classroom in a way that is developmentally appropriate and meaningful. The PATHS and Emozi Programs can give you the tools to do so. If you need additional resources, check out the ones listed below.

If you are a current user of either PATHS or Emozi, please share your ideas and strategies for bullying in one of our Facebook Educator Groups found on our Facebook Page.

Additional Bullying Resources

Topics: Social and emotional learning, PATHS® Program, Emozi® Middle School, Training & Support