Lesson 3 (60 min) What Influences Us- Violence Prevention


  • Write the word Policy up so students can see it.
  • Write a few valid/reliable websites so students can view them.
  • Create cards with the 4 terms and 4 definitions on them for students to find their match. 
  • Have copies of school student handbook or link to handbook for students to access.

By the end of the lesson, students will...

  • Analyze the negative consequences of violence to perpetrators, victims, bystanders and upstanders;
  • Analyze the consequences of prejudice, discrimination, racism, sexism, and hate crimes and how public health policies can be positive influences on eliminating these crimes;
  • Analyze how culture supports and challenges violence prevention beliefs, practices, and behaviors;
  • Analyze how some health risk behaviors influence the likelihood of engaging in violent behaviors (e.g., how alcohol and other drug use influence violent behaviors); and
  • Analyze the effect of media and technology on personal, family, and community violence prevention practices and behaviors.

Introductory Activity - 25 min. 

Write the word Policy up visually for students to see. Ask students what images, thoughts, words come to mind when they hear or see the word policy? Some answers may include: rules, procedures, structure, enforcement, safety, law. 

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Explain that policies are in place for a variety of reason and sometimes are enforced (like getting suspending for something) and sometimes they aren't but are expected to be followed. Two reasons policies are in place are to protect people (safety) and keep people healthy. They are also in place to help with organization, order and control. Ask students about a policy they are familiar with (i.e., no wearing hats at school, no selling soda pop in vending machines at school, etc.).

Place students in group. They will be reviewing your local school and/or district student handbook. Instruct students to access their school student handbook and find all the policies they can that protect students' rights. Make suggestions on how any of these policies might be strengthened or more comprehensive for students in your school.

Ask students to be prepared to share out. Possibly write the policies on chart paper or somewhere visually for students to see. This could possibly turn into another end of unit advocacy assessment in which students write their School Board a letter, or their principal a note that explains how this policies/these policies may be strengthened and why that would be important. 

Guided Discussion- 15 min

This activity is to introduce the definitions related to the roles people take on within a violent situation. If students are familiar with these terms and roles, you can just do a quick review. 

1. Print out enough terms/definitions for each student to receive one term or definition on a small piece of paper or card stock (see below). Ask students to find their match around the room. Have students share out the term and the matching definition. Ensure they were correct. With only four terms, this should be quick.

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Explain to students that even with policies & procedures in place, discrimination and hate crimes occur. What might be the consequences on the different people involved in a situation involving discrimination, bullying or violence?

Closure- 10 min
This activity can be completed and processed in class or as a homework assignment and processed the next day.

Ask students to use the internet to find a policy that somehow protects people from prejudice, discrimination, racism, sexism and hate crimes. Suggested sites may be: