Books for use with small groups, with individual students, and small groups to prevent and stop bullying.
What would you do if you got to restart? The main character in this story seemingly gets an opportunity to do just that. After falling off his roof and waking up with amnesia, he is ready to start again. However, he quickly realizes decisions he made in the past have lasting consequences and implications. This book tackles many topics like friendship, reputation, and peer pressure.
Activity: This chapter book would be great to read with a book club or lunch bunch. Before having students round-robin read, check out this great article by Edutopia on alternatives ways to have students read aloud. Between sessions, have your book club complete random acts of kindness and report back.
THE WEIRD SERIES by Erin Frankel
The Weird! book series is a three-part series that focuses on bullying. The first book, Weird! is told from the point of view of the target. I think it’s important to use the term target and not victim. Anyone can be a target, but not everyone has to be a victim. The second book Dare! is told from the perspective of the bystander or the person witnessing the bullying. To wrap up the series, you get to hear from the bully’s side in Tough!. Read more here: https://confidentcounselors.com/2018/01/08/weird-book-series/
Activity: I use these books in my classroom lessons over the course of 3 months. Teachers can use them in their classroom when talking about respect, during a class meeting, or as a book/author study. You can read all about how I use the books here and get my activity packet here.
This is a book I use every year. It’s one of my favorite go to lessons because it’s engaging and thoughtful. Brian, our invisible boy, feels left out and ignored. Instead of telling the students he’s bullied, I ask them if they think it fits the definition of bullying. We have long discussions about whether the students ignore him do it on purpose, the power that one person can have, our feelings, and more.
Activity: Read about my lesson below orheck out authors website for my lesson here. This books lends its self to great discussions, use my cards to get them talking.
I also love pairing it with this video:
Before Reading: Do a “science experiment.”
Here’s how it works:
1. In a plate/flat container that’s full of water I pour in pepper. I ask the students to think of the pepper as people. We call them our “pepper people.” I ask them to notice that the pepper is floating together, almost like a family or a community This is a good place to discuss people coming together in the community, at school, etc. You can ask them to think of all the different ways people work together.
2. Then I introduce the “soap.” Put the soap in the middle of the pepper. In previous lessons I have introduced the soap as a “bully,” however this time I asked them to just think of the soap as a person.
3. As you will notice when you put the soap in the water the pepper immediately darts away from the soap. I asked the kids to tell me why the pepper would be running away from the soap. Some said that the soap was a bully, others said it might be someone who is scared, etc. This time I asked them to imagine the soap was not a bully, perhaps a new student or even a student they have known a long time. I then asked them again, why would the pepper run away?
4. This was a good place to introduce our vocab. words of the day: exclusion and inclusion. I explained that the pepper were all off by themselves and the soap was left alone. We discussed the word exclusion here, when one student noticed that some of the pepper had stuck to the soap. She commented that if the soap were a bully perhaps they were joining the bully or maybe trying to stop him. I asked them to discuss why else the pepper might stick to the soap.
5. Next we talk about inclusion and that it’s important to include everyone and it just takes one “sugary sweet” random act of kindness to make a big change. As I talk about this I pour the sugar where the soap was and slowly you will see the pepper coming back together.
Lesson: Next I read the story, stoping frequently to ask the students to make connections between our experiment and the book; looking for pepper people, the soap, and the sugar. I also asked them to make text-to-life connections. Many of my students really opened up!
Game: Next we played Quiz Quiz Trade using the discussion questions in the back of the book. I had a student demonstrate with me how to play and model how to restate an answer. I asked everyone to show their listening skills by restating what they heard and repeating it each partner. They did a great job, I loved the “I heard you say that you think…” or “So you are saying that….” It was amazing. I also added a few like: “What do you think exclusion is?” “Do you think exclusion is bullying?” and “What food have you tried from other countries?”
Find more books here: https://www.goodreads.com/PawsitiveSchoolCounseling
See my personal list of books I own with categories and links to activities here. To Edit Click File and “Make a copy”!
Find videos to partner with books here:
Check out more amazing resources from these amazing counselors, educators, parents, etc.: