– Kristi Morris, Counselor, Goleta Valley Junior High, California
I highly recommend the P3R program as the best film series that I have seen in addressing the issue of bullying on middle school campuses.
Video and Extensive Teacher’s Guide
Produced by Readymade’s American organisation, Stories of Us (USA), the aim of this middle school Classroom Resource is to help students and teachers develop effective strategies to enhance awareness and understanding, and reduce bullying behaviours among students. In the process this program addresses a number of factors, including:
- The critical role of bystanders in both perpetuating and resolving bullying
- Types of bullying, including cyberbullying
- How situations escalate
- Supportive and non-supportive friendship
- The dynamics of the group
- Power and control
- Consequences of bullying
- Where to turn for support
- Effective ways to seek help
- Options for dealing with typical bullying situations
This Stories of Us Promoting Positive Peer Relationships (P3R) Classroom Resource is composed of two dramatised films and a 180 page Teacher’s Guide.
Overall, every effort has been made to maximize the fit with school curriculum and the National Standard for the English Language Arts.
The suggested target age group is 6th through 9th grade, however its use need not be restricted to these years.
The Teacher’s Guide
The Classroom Resource is designed with the flexibility to meet a number of needs. The options range from the recommended application of an Eight-Lesson Plan supplemented with a refresher session six months later, through to simply using the films as a complement to programs your school might already be implementing.
The Teacher’s Guide provides an Eight-Lesson Plan and a Five-Lesson Plan for each film. Most lesson plans include optional classroom activities and optional homework assignments that can be used at the discretion of teachers. Copy-friendly charts and tables are provided in the Additional Resources section, along with a range of optional lessons, information about bullying, and suggested reference materials.
Each film presents the story of two ‘students’ as they deal, in their own way, with the given issue. The objective is to engage, rather than tell – to motivate students to discuss and explore the dynamics of the issues and develop an understanding of what happens and why. With the aid of the Guide the young audience are asked a series of open questions as they explore the issues in-depth. At each stage the Guide clearly indicates the territory to be explored, and provides additional information for teachers should any details need clarification.
Because of their realism the films also form an excellent basis for extension activities in English or Drama.
A preview of the Teacher’s Guide can be downloaded here as a PDF document.
There are two 23 minute films provided, each with its own corresponding section in the Teacher’s Guide. The films were produced with students in distinctly different school environments, in different states. Teachers using the resources can choose to work with the film most relevant to their students.
There are two versions of each film with the resource.
The Play Version is played without interruption, with a prompt at the end to refer to the Teacher’s Guide for questions to begin the discussion. In this version the story is left intentionally unresolved to maximise student engagement in the discussion.
The Segmented Version repeats the main program but with a series of pause points (with Teacher’s Guide questions) for a more in-depth discussion. At the end the main characters tell us how they resolved their situations – with a positive outcome.
A 5 minute preview of one of the films is available at the top of this page.
The Story – Film One
Adam is a likeable 8th Grade student who enjoys playfully irritating friends Joey and Akshay with his improvised rap songs. One day Adam unintentionally steps on the toe of Jackson – a troubled boy in the same class – who thereafter starts to harass him.
Selena is friends with Ally, Chrissy, Holly, Nikki, Kiara and Izzy. Prompted by being excluded from joining her friends in a group activity, Holly lies to Ally with the intention of turning her against Selena. Chrissy supports Holly in the lie, and Selena’s protestations fall on deaf ears as Ally increasingly turns on her…
The Story – Film Two
Darren is an 8th grade extrovert with a group of friends some might label ‘Goths’ – best friend Oli, Sadie, Elizabeth and Jeremy. Darren is confident, playful and loyal – and promptly steps forward to defend Sadie’s diminutive brother Zac when class bully Jake (with the support of friends Deandre and Jimmy) takes Zac’s mp3 player.
Dinah is new to the school, having recently moved with her family from New York. She is establishing a friendship with Rosaline and Jamie when Nicole starts picking on her – initially for no apparent reason, then fuelled by jealousy when Jake, who recently ‘dumped’ Nicole, flirts with the newcomer…
The host schools, and more specifically the collaborating students, were carefully selected to (as much as practicable) represent the broader community of students in America, and care has be taken to ensure the films sit comfortably within the collective school ethos.
With each school, filmmaker Christopher Faull worked with Grade 8 students over a two month period exploring the subject, developing characters, then workshopping the scripts. The students performed all the main acting roles in the dramatised videos, and fulfilled all of the secondary roles in supporting the professional film crew. Every detail of the story and its staging was approved by the students, and every word of dialogue is their own.
For more information about the P3R resources, visit Stories of Us (USA).