Bystander Novel Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Did your students grasp all the key concepts present in James Preller's book 'Bystander?' This lesson plan uses an informative text lesson to ensure comprehension. A group activity measures understanding.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize the plot of Bystander by James Preller
  • list and describe key characters from Bystander by James Preller
  • explain the Bystander Effect theory and how it is represented in Bystander by James Preller
  • cite textual references from Bystander by James Preller to support analysis


1.5 to 2 hours


  • This lesson plan is designed for use with students who have read James Preller's novel Bystander

Curriculum Standards


Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone


  • Copies of the novel Bystander by James Preller
  • Paper copies of the text lesson Bystander: Book Summary & Characters
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from he associated text lesson
  • Three pieces of butcher paper, each approximately three feet in length and labeled at the top with one of the following: 'Summary', 'Characters,' or 'The Bystander Effect'

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