Befriending Bullies

Overview How can classrooms be bully free? When everyone in the school community agrees to a no-tolerance policy. Buddy reading with older students relays how to deal with hurtful teasing and bullying. Youngsters write books about their own experiences and display them during open house and schoolwide events. Role-play reinforces social skills: how to apologize, how to comfort victims, and how to make friends. Classroom pledges, posters and bookmarks advertise no room for bullies. When children discover that together they have the power to make positive changes in their school community, behavior improves and bullies can become friends.

Classroom Activities
Community Activities
Career Activities
Share teasing & bullying experiences (as victims & aggressors).
Read books on these themes.
Schedule buddy reading with grade 2 students.
List bullying danger zones: bus, lunch room, schoolyard, etc.
Brainstorm tips on dealing with bullies.
Sign classroom Declaration of Peace.
Share stories during Writers Workshop.
Write & publish bully stories.
Make bully free classrooms posters.
Prepare laminated bookmarks listing How to Be Friends.
Create bully free learning stations at learning festival.
Meet weekly with grade 2 buddies.
Take turns reading aloud books on teasing & bullying.
Display books on bullying in school library.
Include family members in teasing & bullying dialogue.
Share tips & Declaration of Peace with family & friends.
Display bully-free classrooms posters throughout school.
Read original books to other grade 1 & kindergarten classes.
Exhibit books, posters, bookmarks during open house & learning festival.
Write thank you letters & present bookmarks to City Years Corps members & student helpers at learning festival.
Role play social skills needed at school & work place: apologies, friendship building, reporting bullies, etc.
Use circle time to discuss negative behaviors: name-calling, scapegoating, play fighting, etc.
Visit library & listen to librarian tell her story about careers in multi media.
Identify & introduce adults involved in school safety at circle time: nurse, counselor, recess & lunch monitors, crossing guard,, bus driver, etc.
Invite vice principal to circle time & discuss official school policy on bullying & violence.
Research favorite authors on Internet.
Interview City Year Corps members on walking away from unsafe situations.

Learning Standards Health

Describe characteristics of inclusive and supportive social environments (family, friends, school, etc.).
Identify behaviors and situations that are risky and harmful to self and others.
Use communication and problem-solving skills to set personal boundaries, resolve conflicts, and develop positive relationships.
Identify and practice communication skills.

Learning Standards Social Studies

Learn that school is a community in which students are equals, and that all must be considerate of others for the school to be a good place to play, work, and learn.
Learn appropriate classroom conduct, such as sharing, taking turns (and related habits that implicitly involve treating others as equals, irrespective of individual differences).
Learn that students must live up to school expectations of its citizens.

Learning Standards English Language Arts

Contribute knowledge to class discussions to develop framework for class project.
Read student created books to other students using proper pace, volume, and clear enunciation.
Identify basic facts and essential ideas in what students have read, heard, or viewed.
Identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of theme in literature and provide evidence from the text to support understandings.
Write a book about personal experiences with clear focus and adequate details.
Use art to express ideas, beliefs, and emotions.
Generate relevant questions to be used in gathering information from others.

School to Career Competencies

Manage Stress and Conflict.
Develop Communication and Literacy Skills.
Use Technology.
Solve Problems.
Take Responsibility For Life Choices.

Assessment Students are assessed and receive feedback on process and products of their book, poster & bookmark making during Writers Workshop peer and teacher editing. Students' circle time interviews and discussions are evaluated through teacher observation checklist

Software or Materials Used For books, posters, bookmarks: Microsoft Word, KidPix, bookbinder, laminator, paper, washable markers, flair felt-tip pens, glue sticks. For literature on bullying, see list.

Web Sites See Befriending Bullies Web Sites.

Keywords Befriending Bullies, Bookmaking, Bullies, School to Career, Service Learning, Teasing, Writers Workshop

Final Words Learning how to be a friend is one of the most important behaviors teachers can model for students. When a child hurts another child, s/he needs to know how to say, "I am sorry for__________." and then how to ask, "Are you OK?" I found that my students have become more caring and considerate to others. They are learning how to be positive role models for members of the school and home community.

Teacher Tip Start every day with a smile and really listen.

E-mail contact Jennifer Shammas

Teacher Bio Jennifer Shammas is a first grade teacher at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School. She has been teaching for two years and is a member of the School Site Council. Graduating Magna cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a degree in psychology and a certificate in elementary education, Jennifer is also a member of the National Psi Chi Honor Society. She is currently enrolled in a Masters Degree program at Fitchburg State College.

Subject Areas Health, Social Studies, English Language Arts

Grade Levels 1 - 5

Students Inclusive

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