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Above the Line / Below the Line


To help students understand the concept of above the line versus below the line behaviors and make a commitment to promoting above the line behaviors at their school.


  • Above the Line/Below the Line handouts
  • Banner size paper – at least 30in x 40in
  • Markers


Above/Below the Line
  1. Create a banner size poster of the Above the Line / Below the line chart. Write “above the line” on top of the line and “below the line” under the line, with arrows pointing up and down, respectively.
  2. Distribute Above the Line / Below the Line handouts to each student.
  3. Ask the students to brainstorm ideas of what behaviors might be above and below the line in a bullying situation, filling out their own personal handouts. Share a few examples such as:
    1. Above the line (helpful behaviors)
      1. Saying something nice to the target
      2. Asking the target to sit with you at lunch
      3. Telling the person bullying that what they’re doing isn’t OK
    2. Below the line (not helpful behaviors)
      1. Joining in the bullying
      2. Laughing at the target
      3. Saying something mean to the target later
  4. After the group has an opportunity to brainstorm, ask them to share their answers, writing the group’s responses in the appropriate locations on the banner size poster paper.
  5. Ask the group to brainstorm answers to these questions: What happens at our school when students engage in above the line behaviors? What happens when they engage in below the line behaviors?
  6. Ask students to commit to having more above the line behaviors and fewer below the line behaviors in their classroom.
  7. Find a place to display the poster as a reminder to the students of their commitment.

Distance Learning

Follow the same steps as the in-person instructions, digitally sharing the handout with each student and have them fill in their personal posters online – as the handout is fillable. Once students had an opportunity to brainstorm, have them share their answers and create a final, class version with selected responses to share with the entire class or post in your distance learning platform.


Download a sample “Above the Line” activity