Rochester Teacher Helps MACMH Develop a Web-Based Curriculum

Rochester Teacher Helps MACMH Develop a Web-Based Curriculum

UPDATE: 11/11/15: We apologize that the Defenders is no longer available. We are hoping to find funding to refresh and update this fun curriculum soon.

Early this summer, MACMH’s publication crew set out to revise our SuperMe bullying prevention materials. “Best practices” established by the U.S. Department Health and Human Services suggest that bullying prevention efforts, to be effective, need to be clearly stated and reinforced throughout the school environment. The efforts also need to be easily understood by the students so instead of long lists of dos and don’ts, the messages need to be direct, unambiguous, and easy to remember.

Reading about these best practices ignited a spark in our community arts liaison, Matt Jenson. Matt immediately went to work developing a cast of characters called The Defenders who could convey the anti-bullying messages in a clear, yet fun and memorable way. At about the same time, LeaAnn Brannan, a special education teacher from Pinewood Elementary in Rochester, Minn., e-mailed to ask if she could develop a WebQuest for her students using the SuperMe team.

“A Web what?” we asked. LeaAnn graciously agreed to meet with MACMH staff to give us a lesson on a tool many teachers are very familiar with. After that first meeting with LeaAnn, MACMH knew what form the new SuperMe materials would take. Combining LeaAnn’s concept of presenting anti-bullying information in a WebQuest with Matt’s new Defenders seemed like an obvious answer to our question.

MACMH’s WebQuest Becomes an Interactive Curriculum
Often WebQuests are guided lesson plans that invite students to explore a topic or concept using web-based resources to develop a deeper understanding. Many WebQuests are formulaic and rather straightforward in the way they lead students though a series of tasks in an effort to complete a research paper or a collaborative project.

MACMH’s project, however, is significantly more interactive than what users may be expecting. To begin, “Defenders in Training” are invited to attend a student exchange program at Clearview School where they will be trained by a team of super-powered Defenders to become proficient in bully prevention practices. After completing Bully Prevention Training Camp, Defenders in Training will be required to complete several missions that test their ability to safely and nonviolently address typical bullying scenarios.

Armed with the “top secret” dossiers of the meanest, most subversive bullies at Clearview School, the Defenders in Training, must show that they 1) can distinguish between fun, silly teasing and hurtful teasing, 2) know the difference between tattling and reporting, and 3) are able to effectively thwart a persistent bully using nonviolent strategies. When a Defender in Training demonstrates proficiency, he or she will be endowed with a super power of their own.

MACMH’s own super staff launched The Defenders of Clearview School curriculum in early October so it’s now ready for use in schools as the fall semester gets underway.

Leave a Reply