October is National Bullying Prevention Month and to build student awareness on this topic we are focusing on bullying in our classroom guidance lessons. My co-counselor and I are on a three week rotating schedule to see classes and this past week we had kindergarten and 3rd grade, below is a review of the topic/lessons we facilitated.
Kindergarten- The emphasis in all kindergarten classes is to develop awareness and familiarity with terms, feelings, and choices. For this lesson, students were introduced to the topic of bullying and what it means through the story "Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies" in this story they learned about what bullying is and what to do if it happens to them. To enhance their understanding of the concept they sang a song and did other interactive activities on the We Do Listen website that supplements all the Howard books. Be sure to check it out, it's wonderful! Students received a take away activity sheet from the site that allows families to review the lesson with their child and a coloring sheet from the site was on the backside of the take away sheet, reminding students to be brave, be bold, and to tell a teacher what's happening. Kindergartner's love Howard and you will too!
3rd grade- To review student understanding of what bullying is we start out the lesson with a Bullying Questionnaire from the "Skits, Raps, & Poems For the School Counselor" book. To do this I laminated 6x6 sheets of construction paper with red on one side and green on the other. When I read a question aloud, students held up the green side for yes/true or the red side for no/false. It was a great way to see what the students responses were and what the class understanding was of the concept. After the questionnaire I inform them of the three words we would be focusing on for the lesson: bully, bystander, and victim/target. We then read the book "Bully BEANS" by Julia Cook (one of my favorite authors!), she also has a great supplementary teacher's guide that goes with the book. B.E.A.N.S. stands for Bullies Everywhere Are Now Stopped! Once we finish the story we define the three words introduced and identified the characters in the story that were most similar to those three terms. We also connected the discussion to the previous classroom guidance theme discussed (Conflict Resolution), just like they have many solutions for resolving conflicts, they also have lots of choices for resolving problems they have with bullies. Students then had the opportunity to ask questions and make comments regarding the topic. They then had the opportunity to sign a pledge banner that will be displayed at the end of the month showing they are standing up against bullying. Thanks to our generous PTO we also ordered and distributed a copy of "Let's Learn About Bullying & Cyberbullying: An Educational Activities Book" from Positive Promotions for each student to keep and review.
I look forward to posting a picture of the banner at the end of the month that will remind all students to take a stand against bullying!