Library Lessons: Bullying Prevention
by Lisa Bintrim
October is National Bullying Prevention Month
Children’s books can share important lessons in empathy, compassion and perseverance: essential qualities for preventing bullying and helping students deal with bullies.
Books About Bullying
Share the following books with your young readers to introduce the concept of bullying and provide opportunities for student discussion:
- Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Agnes Parker, Girl in Progress by Kathleen O’Dell
- Billy Bully: A School-Yard Counting Tale by Alvaro and Ana Galan
- Jake Drake, Bully Buster by Andrew Clements
- Katie Woo: No More Teasing! by Fran Manushkin
- Minn and Jake by Janet S. Wong
- Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco
- The Revealers by Doug Wilhelm
- Blue Cheese Breath and Stinky Feet: How to Deal with Bullies by Catherine DePino
Start a conversation about bullying while teaching students crucial literacy skills with this library lesson plan from LibrarySparks writer Lynne Farrell Stover.
You’re Mean, Lily Jean!
Grade Level: 3–5
Time Allocation: 30–35 minutes
- The student will define, understand, and apply the concepts of cause and effect.
- The student will complete a chart using specific information.
- Copy of You’re Mean, Lily Jean! by Frieda Wishinsky (Albert Whitman, 2009).
- Charting Cause and Effect Visual and Activity Sheet
- Writing tools
- Introduce the story by showing the students the cover of the book You’re Mean, Lily Jean! by Frieda Wishinsky. Explain that it is about 3 girls, 1 of whom is being very bossy and acting like a bully.
- Read the book to the students. This takes about 5 minutes.
- Explain to the students that things happen in this story because of a chain of events. Note that, when Lily Jean moved next door, the sisters started to play differently together.
- Display the Charting Cause and Effect visual. Read the definitions of cause and effect to the students.
- Complete the chart with the help of the students, writing in the correct answers.
- Distribute the Charting Cause and Effect activity sheets and writing tools. Read through the directions with the students.
- Allow students to work in pairs or small groups.
- Review the activity sheet as a group. Point out to the students that when the chart is correctly completed, it is a review of the book.
- “Bully Busting 101” Discussion Guide from LibrarySparks. LibrarySparks provides engaging children’s activities, book recommendations and ready-to-use resources from top experts.
- Bullying.org — Stories, poems and drawings created by kids. Students may also submit their own material. There’s also an anti-bullying pledge in kid-friendly language in the “I Want to Help” tab.
- National Bullying Prevention Center’s Pace Center — Interactive resource with information, tips, activities, games, webisodes and videos.
- Songs for Teaching — Features “Friendship Songs for Kids.” Lyrics and recordings are available for most songs.