Rumors and Gossip

Contributor: Shannon Malkovsky. Lesson ID: 10269

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." That statement is absurd, especially when the words are not true or are too personal! Learn to avoid spreading gossip and rumors!


Interpersonal Skills

Life Skills
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people" (Eleanor Roosevelt).

You hear a juicy tidbit from a friend, who heard it from another friend, who read it on Facebook, that was posted by someone who probably made it up. This is an example of a rumor. Rumors and gossip are always floating around Facebook and our community. Sometimes, gossip can be harmless, but other times, it can be very hurtful to others!

Today, you will be learning about rumors and gossiping, and how words can hurt as much as sticks and stones!

We will start with a short activity. You will need the following materials:

  • tube of toothpaste
  • plate
  1. Squeeze toothpaste out onto a paper plate until the tube is empty.
  2. What is the toothpaste meant to represent? Each time the toothpaste is squeezed out, it represents someone spreading a rumor.
  3. When you have completely emptied the tube of toothpaste, put the toothpaste back into the tube.
  4. Were you able to put the toothpaste back into the tube? It’s impossible to get ALL of the toothpaste back into the tube.
  5. The toothpaste in this activity represents a rumor. Once a rumor is out, you can’t put it “back in.”

Please read the following advice column article, Expert Answers on ... Someone is Spreading Rumors About Me. What Can I Do?, from TeensHealth, Nemours. As you read the article, please take notes on how the person feels about the rumors and how she is told to deal with the situation.

Now, watch the following movie clip called Doubt: Gossip:


What did you learn from this video about gossiping?

Next, read the following articles, also from TeensHealth, Nemours, about breaking the cycle of rumors, gossiping, and the ever-growing threat of cyberbullying. As you read, please take notes:

For some real-world insight, continue on to the Got It? section.

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