Ka Hsaw Wa: Bullying

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Ka Hsaw Wa

Ka Hsaw Wa, ©2000 Eddie Adams


  • GRADES 6 – 8


  • Multi-National Corporate Responsibility

Additional Resources
PDF (includes worksheets)


  • Article 2: Freedom from Discrimination
  • Article 3: Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security
  • Article 5: Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment
  • Article 7: Right to Equality Before the Law
  • Article 19: Freedom of Opinion and Information
  • Article 20: Right of Peaceful Assembly and Association
  • Article 23: Right to Desirable Work and Join Trade Unions
  • Article 25: Right to Adequate Living Standard
  • Article 30: Freedom from State or Personal Interference in the Above Rights


  • Anticipatory set – 80 minutes
  • Individual activity – 40 minutes
  • Eight activities – 320 minutes


  • An inevitable consequence of being a member of society is to experience or witness discrimination or oppression. In what ways do people contribute to, cope with, or avoid this phenomenon? What roles do indifference and courage play?
  • How does this apply to the perpetrators, victims, bystanders, and defenders within specific situations involving the jungles of Burma, the Holocaust, or students’ own lives?


After this lesson, students will be able to

  • Relate the concept of bullying in their own lives to new information.
  • Identify significant literary elements including metaphor, symbolism, foreshadowing, irony) in a poem and use those elements to help create original poetic devices to interpret the work.
  • Produce an original poem focused on the concepts of indifference, courage, and perseverance.
  • Listen and speak about personal experiences that relate to new information.
  • Evaluate and apply vocabulary words in various contexts to facilitate generalization.
  • Collect data, facts, and ideas on Ka Hsaw Wa and corporate responsibility; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations integrated with bullying between the Holocaust, Ka Hsaw Wa’s life, and their own experiences.
  • Develop information with supporting materials such as sensory/reporter notes, facts, details, examples and exclude extraneous materials.
  • Synthesize information to select, organize, and categorize information to produce an original poem and slideshow in sequential steps.
  • Analyze and evaluate information from a variety of perspectives and recognize the relative validity of divergent points of view.
  • Write a poem to create narration to be used under a sequence of slides for an original Movie Maker slideshow comparing and contrasting a bullying situation with Ka Hsaw Wa’s story.
  • Listen attentively to others and build on others’ ideas in conversation and class discussions.
  • Gather a collection of Internet-based photographs or video clips to demonstrate a particular point for slideshow.
  • Evaluate information to justify speaking out against bullies and not being a bystander.


  • Writing and application of the writing process
  • Writing in a variety of genres
  • Grammar and mechanics
  • Gathering and using information for research
  • Critical thinking and problem solving


  • English Language Arts Standard 1 Language for Information and Understanding
    • Intermediate Reading PI 1, 2; Writing PI 1, 2, 4
  • English Language Arts Standard 2 Language for Literary Response and Expression
    • Intermediate Reading PI 1; Writing PI 3
  • English Language Arts Standard 3: Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation
    • Intermediate Reading PI 1, 3; Writing PI 1
  • English Language Arts Standard 4: Language for Social Interaction
    • Intermediate Reading PI 1, 2; Writing PI 1, 2
  • Social Studies Standard 1: The History of the United States and New York
    • Intermediate KI 2 PI 3; KI 4 PI 1, 2
  • Social Studies Standard 2: World History
    • Intermediate KI 1 PI 1; KI 3 PI 1, 2; KI 4 PI 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Social Studies Standard 4: Economics
    • Intermediate KI 1 PI 1, 2, 4; KI 2 PI 4
  • Social Studies Standard 5: Civics, Citizenship, and Government
    • Intermediate KI 1 PI 1; KI 4 PI 1, 2
  • Health, Physical Education, and Family & Consumer Sciences Standard 2: A Safe and Healthy Environment
    • Intermediate Physical Education KI 1 PI 3
  • Health, Physical Education and Family & Consumer Sciences Standard 3: Resource Management
    • Intermediate Family & Consumer Sciences KI 1 PI 2
  • Career Development and Occupational Studies Standard 3a: Universal Foundation Skills
    • Intermediate Thinking Skills KI 2 PI 1
    • Intermediate Personal Qualities KI 3 PI 1
    • Intermediate Managing Resources KI 7 PI 1
  • The Arts: Dance, Theater, Music, and Visual Arts Standard 2: Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources
    • Intermediate Visual Arts KI 2 PI 2

NYS P-12 COMMON CORE LEARNING STANDARDS for ELA/Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12

  • RH/SS.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • RH/SS.6-8.4Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
  • RH/SS.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
  • WH/SS.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  • WH/SS.6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research.



  • Lawsuit
  • Profit margin
  • Pending
  • Perpetrate
  • Porter/portering
  • Extrajudicial killings
  • Refugee
  • Plaintiff
  • Demonstration
  • Atrocities
  • Testimonies
  • Repulse
  • Precedent
  • Extortion
  • Indigenous
  • Meticulously
  • Sweatshop
  • Exploit
  • Activist
  • Suppression
  • Courage
  • Perseverance
  • Indifference
  • Bystander
  • Self-doubt


  • Culture
  • Empathy
  • Needs and wants
  • Justice
  • Decision making
  • Civic values
  • Human rights


  • Internet
  • Windows Movie Maker®

Student Activities


  • Begin a dialogue with the students on what it means to stand up to bullies.
  • After a brief discussion, give students Handout #1, Journal Entry #1
  • Instruct the students to write a short narrative describing a time when they stood up for someone else.
  • When students have finished, ask them to share their situations and experiences in a class discussion.
  • Write these names on the board:
    • Perpetrators
    • Victims
    • Bystanders
    • Defenders
  • Discuss and brainstorm the characteristics of each person. Have students write the description under the appropriate heading.


  • Give students Handout #2 Vocabulary List
  • Students are to work in pairs to find the definitions of the words.
  • Once students have defined the words, they are to create sentences using the words appropriately.
  • Students will share the definitions and sentences in a class discussion.


  • Upon entering class, students are given a Post-it with either the definition or a vocabulary word.
  • Time the students to see how long it takes them to find their match. Students quickly sit down when they find a match.
  • Review the words and definitions and discuss how they can be used.


  • Have students work in pairs.
  • Assign students to choose a minimum of 15 vocabulary words and definitions.
  • Students are to write a mini-story using these vocabulary words in the correct context.
  • This counts as a quiz grade


  • Repeat Day 3’s anticipatory set


  • Give the students Handout #3 Journal Entry #2
  • Instruct the students to write their thoughts inside the box on: What kind of people do you see getting picked on?
  • When done, ask students to share their answers with the class.
  • Students can volunteer to write their answers on the board.


  • Give students Handout #4, Building Perspectives
  • Ask students to complete the feelings/traits worksheet individually to categorize the traits and feelings of a victim, perpetrator, and defender.
  • Instruct the students to log the words they don’t know and look up the meaning.
  • When done, ask students to justify their answers in a class discussion.
  • Students will share their experiences and examples.


  • Give to students Handout #5 Ka Hsaw Wa Guiding Questions
  • Have students read through the questions aloud.


  • Give students the story of Ka Hsaw Wa from the book, Speak Truth to Power: http://blogs.nysut.org/sttp/defenders/ka-hsaw-wa/
  • Have students take turns reading the story aloud.
  • When the story has been completed, instruct the students to answer the questions individually.
  • Review the answers aloud with the class.


  • Give students Handouts # 6 and #7 Sensory Notes and Reporter Notes
  • Have students work in pairs.
  • Instruct students to fill in the sensory notes organizer, Handout # 6, from the perspective of Ka Hsaw Wa’s five senses in the story.
  • Using Handout # 7, have students classify the roles of the perpetrators, bystanders, and victims according to Ka Hsaw Wa’s story.


  • Give students Handout # 8
  • Have students read Pastor Neimoller’s quote and write an interpretation on the guiding questions.


  • Give students Handout #8, Developing Inter-textual Connections and Courage
  • Ask students to read the quote written by Pastor Martin Neimoller and answer the following:
    • Why do you think it is important to speak up when there is injustice?
    • Describe the benefits and risks involved with speaking out.
  • Have students work in pairs.
  • Instruct students to classify and organize the similarities between the three situations; their own experiences with bullying, Ka Hsaw Wa’s story, and the Holocaust.
  • After completing the worksheet, have students answer the following:
  • Who are the heroes in each encounter?
  • Who are the ones that show courage, who persevere, and take action to speak out against injustice?
  • Students will share their information in a class discussion.
  • Extension/homework.


  • Give students Handout #9 Movie Maker slideshow template and directions
  • Review directions for storyboard.
  • The slideshow will consist of a sequence of thematic connections.
  • There should be a minimum of 14 slides and a maximum of 23 slides unless there are requirements to provide accommodations and/or modifications.


The school needs to provide the space and support for students to take a leadership role and responsibility for stopping bullying in their school.

  • On a personal level, try to understand how your actions impact others and work to create a safe environment for all the students in your school.
  • On the school level, take the Bully Free temperature to see if your school is a “safe” learning environment.
  • Create a “Bully Free Zone” with identified safe places, safe staff/teachers, an alert box for students to flag issues or perceived issues.
  • Write the No Bullying Code of Conduct that includes responses from students who bully or falsely accuse someone of bullying.
  • Host an evening for parents to highlight achievements in creating a Bully Free School.
  • Students can create a movie about bullying using Windows Movie Maker®
  • Handout #10 and #11 tell how to make a movie.
  • Students can present the movie to their school, board of education and community.


The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights is sponsoring an annual contest honoring a student who submits the best advocacy activity based upon the lesson studied. A goal of the lesson is to instill into each student that one voice, one person can make monumental changes in the lives of many. Tell us how you “Became a Defender”!


  • A one-page summary of the advocacy activity
  • Digitized copies of materials that can be sent electronically
  • Photos of the activity (please include parental consent form)
  • A one-page summary of how the activity made a change in the lives of one person or many


  • A week long “virtual” internship at RFK Center
  • An opportunity to meet the defender through a SKYPE visit,
  • A visit from Kerry Kennedy or a defender to your school
  • A poster of a Speak Truth to Power Human Rights Defender
  • A donation of a signed copy of Speak Truth to Power for the school library

The application and instructions for entry can be downloaded here.

The deadline for all applications is the third week in November.

The winning student and teacher will be notified by the last week of January.


Bullying.org – Where you are NOT alone!
An interactive website with information about bullying and how to prevent it. The organization provides resources and educational programs to individuals, families, schools, community organizations to help educate against bullying.

Stop Bullying Now
This is an interactive website for children with explanations of what bullying is, what they can do to prevent bullying, and has games and Webisodes. There is also an adults’ page that has state-by-state anti-bullying laws, tip sheets, and other resources.

CNN: Stop Bullying: Speak Up
This is a website for students, parents and teachers. It includes tips for teachers and parents on how to talk with their children about bullying and videos for students with interviews with kids who have been bullied and their reactions and feelings.

Kids Turn Central – Anti-Bullying Resources.
An interactive website for children from the UK, showing that bullying is not just a problem in the United States.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show – Anti-Bullying Web site
This popular comedienne and daytime show host provides resources for children and supports the Trevor Project.

The Humane Connection – Banishing Bullying
The site has multiple links to resources for kids on bullying and how to stop it.

Bullying Information Center at Education.com
This site has information on cyberbullying, school bullying and raising children in the digital age.

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