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Students will learn about how to find inner strength and cope with bullying


Social Studies  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Do Something about… School Violence Unit
Day 9: Still I Rise
By – Do Something, Inc. /
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – 
Grade Level – 9-12

Do Something about…
School Violence
10-Day Unit

The following lesson is the ninth lesson of a 10-day
School Violence Unit from Do Something, Inc.
Other lessons in this unit are as follows:

Day 1: Bullying
Students will be introduced to the unit and learn the definition of bullying
Day 2: What’s life like in my shoes?
Students will learn about bullying in the news and take on the perspective of someone being bullied.
Day 3: Mean Girls
Students will explore the differences and similarities of female and male violence.
Day 4: School Zones
Students will talk about safety in their own school.
Day 5: Groupthink
Students will learn about gangs and the theory of groupthink.
Day 6: Stand Up!
Students will learn about diffusion of responsibility and discuss how they should play a role in protecting others.
Day 7: Responsibility
Students will learn about the principal of diffusion of responsibility and techniques that can help them if they are ever a victim of violence.
Day 8: Zero Tolerance
Students will investigate zero tolerance laws and learn about the difficulties schools face when deciding how to handle school violence.
Day 9: Still I Rise (See the lesson below)
Students will learn about how to find inner strength and cope with bullying.
Day 10: Bully Pulpit
Students will launch an anti-bullying campaign in their school.


More student resources for this cause are at:


For more Service-Learning Curricula check out:

Day 9: Still I Rise


    Students will learn about how to find inner strength and cope with bullying.


  1. Discuss ” Still I Rise ” by Maya Angelou. Focus on the following verses:
        You may write me down in history

        With your bitter, twisted lies,

        You may trod me in the very dirt

        But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

        Does my sassiness upset you?

        why are you beset with gloom?

        ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

        pumping in my living room.

        Just like moons and like suns,

        With the certainty of tides,

        Just like hopes springing high,

        Still I’ll rise.
        Did you want to see me broken?

        Bowed head and lowered eyes?

        Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

        Weakened by my soulful cries.

        Does my haughtiness offend you?

        Don’t you take it awful hard

        ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

        Diggin’ in my own backyard.

        You may shoot me with your words,

        You may cut me with your eyes,

        you may kill me with your hatefulness,

      But still, like air, I’ll rise.
  2. Talk about what makes the person in the poem powerful. Why is the poet persecuted by others? How does she resist those that try and put her down? What inner qualities does she possess? Connect this to how students that are being bullied can find strength to resist the persecution in school. How can students “walk like they’ve got oil wells pumping in their living rooms”?
  3. Ask student to identify their own source of strength. What helps them to rise above those that would make fun of them? Have students identify inner qualities that help them rise (creativity, humor, passion for a hobby).
  4. Have students think about where they go or where they would like to go for support and strength. If students cannot identify teachers, school counselors, or other school staff, the school should think about how to better support students. Explain to students that many times student are picked on because they are different in some way from the rest of the crowd. It is often these differences that allow people to become great. Talk about some famous examples in history.
  5. To create a school display, have each student write the qualities that give them strength on a helium balloon and let the balloons float to the ceiling.

Additional Activities:

  • Have students create something (artwork, collage, poem, website) to illustrate their uniqueness and their strength. Display these works of and celebrate the uniqueness of each student.

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