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Bullying Lesson

I have been having a problem with one student making fun of group-mates.  The students parents are not very involved and typically don't return phone calls from teachers.  I explained to the group that from now on, if any of them make fun of another student, I am calling home - no warnings!  If the behavior continues after I call home, the student has to call home and explain to his or her parents why they are being called.  The mean student thinks that this isn't fair so to show why I think it is fair, I did the paper lesson that I saw on Pinterest: 

Pinned Image
gave them each a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up into a ball.  I put my nice smooth piece on the board.  Then I gave the group 5 minutes to try to make their wrinkled sheets look like mine again.  They tried everything they could think of!  By the 5 minute mark, most of them had given up.  I had them put their papers next to mine when they were done.  We compared them: mine was flat against the board, the others were all bumpy etc.  Then we talked about how our words can hurt people or crumple them and it is impossible to take back what we said.  Once the paper is crumpled up, it will never be smooth and flat again.  No matter how many times we say sorry or try to make it up to them, the damage is done.  This seemed to have some impact on them.  
They were all very serious during the discussion.  I think it had an impact on them.  Hopefully, the naughty student takes the lesson to heart and changes his behavior.  I'm leaving the paper on the board as a reminder to use kind words and think before you speak.  I'll update you and let you know if it makes a difference!   

3 comments on "Bullying Lesson"
  1. Good idea! What we used was story time with a book called "you are special" by Max Lucado (with grade 2/3). It is also about words and actions. I hope it works out!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this activity! I am going to file it away as something I must do with the students. I wrote a post regarding anti-bullying a few days...come visit!

    A Middle School Survival Guide

  3. Brittney - I love that book! I might have to read that to all of my kids too.

    Courtney - I read your post and love the flash mob idea!


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