24 October 2014

knocking out bullying in october!

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. My very first ever See Bean Teach post was about that very topic, so I thought it would be a nice throw-back to look at some more anti-bullying ideas! Here, I've listed three lessons I've taught so far this month and two more I plan to teach. I like to be able to to link our content with talking about social skills type topics (just so we can make connections between what we learn and the real world)...  I also feel like lessons that help build our classroom community are a tool to help prevent bullying because I've notice that it is much easier for students to pick on those they know very little about... but when they know another's story and where they come from and who they really are, they find it easier to choose to say and do uplifting things. Pacer.org is a great online resource for some facts, along with Stomp Out Bullying.

As mentioned, my very first post, many moons ago was about a lesson I did with a kindergarten class during my senior year of college. It all focused around The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin and how to avoid bullying. It went over really well, so this year I decided to whip that baby back out! My class had a bunch of fun listening to the story on YouTube and then making their own unique pumpkins a couple weeks ago. Of course, I added in an attempt at some academic content and had them make a verbal text-self connection before they could craft their own Spookly, but it was a much needed afternoon of creative thinking and fun after a week of 6 weeks tests (BOO ON THAT.)
We learned about adjectives in language arts this week, so we combined that with a lesson I saw on good ol' Farley's blog a while back. We described my "friend" that I'd drawn on chart paper using adjectives. When the children slung out unkind words, I crumpled it up. When they said kind things, I uncrumpled the paper. We noticed that the wrinkles were still there, and even after we tried to smooth the paper out by saying nice things, the wrinkles didn't totally go away. I think it made a bit of an impact, because after the lesson we did a full on "share you feelings circle" for about 10 minutes. I made sure to end it by asking all of the students to share something that has been a positive interaction with another person in their life so that we could have some emotional closure and a way to bring our thoughts back to a happy place if they'd traveled a little away from there.
We also drew portraits of a classmate (they had to draw out of a jar so it was random!) and described them using 10 adjectives. I was so pleasantly surprised that no one had unkind things to say on their drawings AND they were all excited about who they got (even when it wasn't there bestfriendevereverever). I am proud of how close-knit and sweet my students are. We even had a "special visitor" from another class in another grade our room that day (yep, I get to be that teacher) so I threw his name in the bucket too and my sweet little nuggets just acted like that was totally normal and drew him a beautiful portrait as well!
We watched the BrainPop Jr. video on bullying and then did a class sort to clarified the difference between true bullying and teasing someone of having a "mean moment" using the phrases I cut from a chart that I found on Ms. Sepp's Counselor Corner. It sparked a lot of great discussion about what kinds of things we could problem solve on our own or by talking with the person who offended us, versus what kinds of things we couldn't solve unless we got help from an adult.
We read The Recess Queen, Chrysanthemum, Giraffes Can't Dance. Then we practiced making Text-Self connections. We talked about how we felt and how the characters felt, and experiences that we had that we similar to experiences the characters. We used Venn diagrams to compare both our life experiences and that of the characters AND the characters in the books. There's a freebie in my TPT store- it's not fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but it works! (:

I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share these five ideas! You should participate, too!

P.S. Real talk- this post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Check out my About Mrs. B page for more info on that!


  1. Great ideas. Thank you. I always do a lot of community building and kindness lessons/activities at the beginning of the year, but it really does need to be ongoing. Thanks again! Have a great weekend.
    Laughter and Consistency

  2. You are welcome- I hope you can use some of them! (: