How to help someone being bullied

Year level: 3


Students develop an understanding of what to do in situations where others are being bullied, that shows empathy and respects the rights of others. 

Learning focus

Exploring strategies to use when others are being bullied. 

Key understandings

  • There are strategies we can use to protect others from being bullied.

  • To create a caring and safe school, we must let an adult or teacher know if we see someone being bullied.

  • Asking for help is not the same as ‘dobbing’ or ‘telling’.


  • Student Activity Sheet: I know how to show empathy [one per student]

General capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education(P)

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.

Relationships and sexuality

Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related items

Teaching resource (download) Guides

Before you get started

  • It is important to read and understand the Guides: Resilience and life skills and Establishing ground rules in order to create a safe environment for all students to feel supported and trusting.

  • It may be useful to introduce the concept of bullying by reading one of the following books to the class: King of the Playground; No More Teasing!; Lucy and the Bully. Discuss how the character may be feeling when he/she was bullied and what other characters in the book could have done, or did do, to help this character.  

  • The website Bullying! No Way. has a number of resources to download, print and display around the school to support this learning activity.

Learning activities

Whole Class

Students consider the skills of empathy and respect and their impact on friendships and relationships.

  1. Place the class in a large circle on the floor. Explain that showing you understand how someone is feeling is a skill called empathy. Stress that it is like stepping into their shoes and imagining how they might be feeling and thinking. Explain that empathy helps us make and keep friends. Ask:

    • Why is it important to show people that we understand how they are feeling? (it lets them know we share their happiness and achievements; that you are a caring friend; that they are not alone and helps us keep friends)  

    • How could you show empathy to a person if:

      • He/she comes first in an art competition at school?

      • He/she is new to the school and doesn't know anyone to play with at recess?

      • He/she has to speak at the school assembly and hates performing in front of people?

      • He/she missed out on going to a birthday party that most of the class was invited to?

      • He/she is in Year 3 and falls over in front of all the Year 6 students at assembly?

      • He/she got into trouble for something he/she didn’t do?

      • He/she just got a new baby brother or sister? 

  1. Make a Y-chart of what empathy ‘looks like’, ‘sounds like’, and ‘feels like’ in each of these situations to explain this skill further. For example:

Empathy looks like: Laughing with someone when he/she is happy.

Empathy sounds like: "You must be so happy you won the art prize".

Empathy feels like (for the other person): You are letting him/her know you share their happiness.

  1. Draw a smiley face on a small soft ball and roll the ball to a student. Ask one of the following questions of the student who catches the ball. Repeat this task with other students. Ask the same question of several students so that they are exposed to a range of opinions: 

  • How can we recognise when someone is not being a friend?

  • Are there some responsibilities that come with being a friend?

  • What is bullying? (repeated unkindness to a person, not a single act of unkindness or just one argument)

  • What are some examples of bullying? (name calling; always leaving someone out of a game; using the phone or computer in a nasty way; embarrassing someone; physically hurting someone; hiding or breaking someone’s possessions)   

  • How do you think someone who is being bullied might feel? (highlight feelings such as anger, fear, helplessness, worry, nervousness, sadness)

  • How could you show empathy for someone who is being bullied?  (let the person who is being bullied know that you know how they feel and tell them you know it is unfair; tell the person who is bullying that you know it is unfair)

  • Why should you help someone if you see they are being bullied? (bullying is not okay; watching or ignoring someone is not a respectful thing to do; it is not their fault; we want a safe and caring school/classroom)

  • Do you think helping someone who is being bullied is a way of showing empathy to them? (yes)

  • Why is it important to ask a teacher for help when you see someone else being bullied? (the teacher can help sort out the problem and help the person who is bullying to stop their behaviour)

  • Why do you think some students might find it hard to show empathy and help someone who is being bullied? (they might think it’s not their problem; they might think its dobbing, they might think they will get bullied next; they might worry that the teacher will think they are part of the problem)  

  • What else could you do to show empathy if you saw someone being bullied?

Whiteboard the following five steps:

a. Show this person you know it’s unfair.

b. Show the other person that you know it’s unfair.

c. Tell this person to stop.

d. Move away with the person being bullied.

e. Ask a teacher for help.

  • Who are three adults at our school you could ask for help? (e.g. duty teacher, class teacher, admin. staff)

  • How does bullying spoil things for all of us? (we feel worried that we may be bullied next; we feel upset to see someone else being hurt; it makes us feel unsafe in our class)

  1. Stress that:

    • If someone gets bullied, it’s not their fault.

    • Asking for help is not the same as dobbing.

    • A teacher can help sort out the problem and help the person who is bullying to stop their behaviour.

Independent or Small Group

Students apply the strategies learnt in the whole class activity to develop a digital poster for public display around the school.

  1. Students complete the Student Activity Sheet: I know how to show empathy.

  2. Students make digital posters and display the five steps around the school.


  1. Students use thought shapes to reflect on their learning. Explain what each shape signifies:

Triangle: The most important thing I have learnt from doing this activity.

Square: How I can apply the knowledge and skills I have learnt outside this classroom.

Heart: How I feel about using the skills and ideas I have learnt.

Circle: The thoughts still going around in my head after this activity.

  1. Students can talk or write about their responses to these shapes.

  2. Record the questions raised by students from the 'circle' shape and plan further learning experiences using this information.