SPARKLERS / Kindness & friendship

Being Brave for Others

An activity that uses film as a gateway to explore bullying and standing up for others.
Back to all activities

Find out about

Pink Shirt Day


Print & prep!

Print one Being Brave for Others worksheet per student (this includes two pages, one for students to use during the movie, and a second for them to use afterwards, when re-writing a scene).

You’ll also need to have a movie sorted and ready. You may have one in mind that has some bullying scenes included. If so, feel free to use it! We find tamariki are more likely to engage in this activity if the movie is popular and relatable or funny.

We love Toy Story 3 and any from the Harry Potter series.

Why we love it

Assessing ‘real life’ bullying can be fraught with problems – including the potential to rehash issues that have been resolved.

Using popular movies gives us a neutral gateway to explore and analyse these dynamics, while exploring the many ways we can be an ‘Upstander’ – another word for supporting and be there for others.


This activity gives tamariki a chance to explore being an ‘Upstander’, by watching a movie, noticing scenes that involve bullying (and/or standing up for others), and rewriting a scene to include some upstanding actions.

Start by asking tamariki if they know what it means to be an ‘Upstander’.

An Upstander is someone who tries to help or support someone experiencing bullying through words and/or actions.

Teaching tamariki to be an Upstander

Chat about the five ways to be an Upstander (see page one of the worksheet).

Ask: Who can be an Upstander?

The answer is anyone – because an Upstander doesn’t have to be big and brave, or to show courage all the time. We can all choose to be brave in moments, even if we’re worried or nervous.

An example of this is Pink Shirt Day which originated because of a couple of Upstanders – David Shepherd and Travis Price from Canada – bought and gave out 50 pink shirts after a male student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. This was a creative way to show their support!

What to do

Have your movie ready to go (see 'Print and prep' above for ideas).

Give each student a Being Brave For Others worksheet and let them know you’re going to be watching a movie and you’d like them to jot down some of the bullying incidents and upstander actions they see along the way (maximum 3).

Once the movie is finished ask tamariki to rewrite one of the bullying scenes from the movie on page 2, using one or more of the Upstanding Actions.

If one of these actions is used in the scene (i.e another character steps in and “Calls it”) ask them to choose a different action for their rewrite (e.g. to cause a distraction or leave and act).

Once tamariki have completed this, re-play a few of the scenes they've have chosen and invite them to share their rewrites.

If there’s time and you noticed something in the movie that might constitute as bullying which they didn’t notice, replay the scene and kōrero about it.

  • Is this bullying?
  • How do we think the character felt?
  • Sometimes we don’t notice bullying because it might seem funny at the time – a running joke – and we choose to not do anything. Is this okay?
  • What Upstanding Actions could we use here?

Upstanding is inside us all, but we may feel more comfortable with some techniques rather than others. The important thing is to do something.

What next?

To build on your Upstander abilities and learning you might like to watch this video together, then ask tamariki:

  • which of the five Upstander actions each adult is using
  • whether it be easy to ignore the bullying and be a passive bystander
  • what good might happen if you choose to be an Upstander instead?

To build on your Upstander abilities and learning you could try our Upstanding Plan!

Or use our classroom activities to build a Culture of Kindness in your school.

Looking after you

Check out our top tips for surviving, thriving and bringing your A-game!

Learn more