Monday, March 4, 2013

The Bully Blockers Club

In kindergarten and first grade we elaborated on who a bully is.  A bully can be anyone, but it's not as simple as just someone stealing your pencil.  We discussed the differences between a friend being unkind and a bully - which is tricky at this age.  Children are very quick to label anyone that is not being nice or not doing things "their" way as a bully.  We learned that a bully has to have certain qualities in their behavior.  

At the primary levels, we teach that these unkind bullying behaviors are:
  • Repetitive (doesn't just happen one time, over and over, day after day)
  • On purpose (they are trying to upset you)
  • Physical or Emotional
A great book that helps define bullying for younger students is The Bully Blockers Club by Teresa Bateman.  In this story a young character named Lotty encounters unkind behavior in school from a classmate.  What starts as something small quickly grows into full fledged bullying.  Lotty tries different strategies (similar to those we use with Kelso's Choices) but none of them seem to work.  Finally, her brother states something that sparks an idea and Lotty creates a club of helpful bystanders.

After reading the story, I invite students to become a member of this club.  Most bullying occurs when adults are not around or adults are around and distracted.  That's when we can help each other out.  Each student received an official membership card with ideas on the back of how they can help someone in need.

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