Use this object lesson on cyberbullying to teach kids that God wants them to love everyone.
Object Needed: Plastic Bottle
Big Idea: Christ wants us to love everyone, in person or online.
We've included the text for this object lesson below and we even recorded a video to help give you ideas for how to teach it. Enjoy watching!
Cyberbullying Object Lesson Script
Plastic is one of many man-made inventions that make our lives easier. Plastic, such as this bottle, makes it easier for us to buy, store, and use things like drinks, food, and other necessities. The problem with plastic, of course, is that it is non-biodegradable. Can someone tell me what that means? If something is biodegradable, that means that it will break down easily when it is buried in a landfill. It turns back into natural materials very easily. But non-biodegradable materials like this plastic bottle do not break down. Some materials can last for hundreds of years without breaking down. Others break down into chemicals and materials that can be harmful to the planet and to us.
Plastic like this bottle can be recycled—a process that allows us to reuse the material rather than burying it in a landfill. But many people still don’t recycle even though they should. One of the reasons they don’t is that they don’t see the harm that throwing plastic away can cause. They’ve never seen a landfill. They’ve never seen the disgusting mess that is made when people throw recyclable materials into the garbage. If you don’t see it, you don’t know the harm you have caused.
I wanted to share this story with you because I want you to think of this plastic bottle whenever you’re on the Internet, especially if you’re on Facebook or any other social networking site. The Internet has brought many wonderful things into our lives, just like plastic. But there is also a lot of bad on the Internet, and one of the worst things that has happened on the Internet is cyberbullying. This is when kids (or adults) use Facebook and other websites to make fun, call names, and put down other people. Even good kids, who would never say a bad word to another person to their face, can write horrible, mean, and hurtful things on the Internet without thinking twice about it. Why? Because they don’t see the damage they are doing to another person!
When you can’t see the people you’re calling names or gossiping about, it’s a lot easier to go too far. You don’t see their hurt reaction. You don’t see them cry. You don’t have the peer pressure of other kids to make you stop. Just like throwing plastic in the garbage, you don’t see the damage you’re doing—not until it’s too late.
Cyberbullying is bullying. It is cruel, mean, and harmful to the person being bullied. In a few sad cases, cyberbullying has even led to kids committing suicide—taking their own lives because of what other people said about them. This is not what Christ expects of us. He taught us to love our neighbors. And who is our neighbor? Every kid, every person we meet, in person or online.