Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bullying Lessons for Primary and Intermediate Grades

October is Bully Prevention Month, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite lessons with you.  I love using literature in my classroom lessons and these three do just that.

The first lesson is for Kindergarten and first grade and possibly for second grade too. It is based on the book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  The children love this story, acting out the vocabulary words and becoming part of action.  In this lesson we focus on how teasing and calling names is mean and not okay. I got the idea from a great book called Bullyproof Your Classroom by Caltha Crowe.

For 2nd and 3rd grade I like the book Aloha Potter by Linda Talley.
The lesson is about a little angelfish named Potter who is bullied by a crab, Alakuma.  Potter and his friends try various things for handling the bully crab and find some ways work better than others. In the end, Potter and his friends learn some important strategies for handling bullies.  Included with this lesson are solution cards, bully statements and solution posters I created to go with this story.
Marsh Media now has lesson guides and a DVD to go along with this book.

For my students in fourth and fifth grade I like the book Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig. DJ is constantly teased by Vincent and each time Vincent responds with the phrase, "I was just kidding!"  I don't know about you, but I hear that phrase nearly every day.

This is actually a two part lesson.  The first lesson is an activity titled,"It Depends."  Students are divided into small groups to brainstorm a list of words, gestures, and physical actions students use when "just kidding" and when bullying.  I love this activity because once the groups start sharing their lists you really see the light bulbs coming on in their heads. The lesson concludes with a writing prompt to be completed after the lesson for use in the next classroom counseling visit.

During the second lesson I read the book Just Kidding.  After we discuss the story, I read aloud their writing prompts.  Without using names or identifying information, I read sections of the prompts to the class and we try to determine if the writer had been bullied or if someone was just kidding.
I have also taken their scenarios and made short sentence strips and done a sorting activity by groups where they have to determine if it's bullying, just kidding, or need more information.  Students begin to realize you can't always tell the difference and saying something is a joke makes it no less painful. What may be a joke to you may be emotionally devastating to another person.  Learning to empathize in these situations and recognize the difference in bullying and joking is an important step towards stopping bullying.

I hope these lesson ideas are something you can use during Bully Prevention month.  What sort of Bully Prevention lessons and activities do you use with your students?  Please share below, I would love hear what you are doing.


  1. Just when I was looking for something different to share with my kids, here you post this wonderful blog!! Thanks so much for sharing!! I especially like the It Depends and Just Kidding!

  2. You are most welcome! Let me hear about your experience with "It Depends." It always provides some interesting discussion!