Bullying Prevention Month Ideas

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and  I'm here to share two Must Have books and another great resource. (This is an updated post from last year.) These are perfect books and resources to start off your school year (or any time of the year, as a matter of fact!!) They have great lessons on how to deal with bullies and just in time for National Bullying Prevention Month!!

This is first book was recommended on A Mighty Girl website. If you’re not yet familiar with this site, you MUST check it out!! It’s the most fantastic resource for parents & teachers. It features books, films, and advice on raising strong girls & female role models.

It was the title that caught my eye first: Roxie and the Hooligans by by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.  I loved the sound of the word “hooligans”! I wondered, what was this all about? The cover illustration also caught my eye; I have a soft spot for quirky, misfit-type characters (children, too!) This novel has since become a class favorite. You can order your copy here.
This book, from the author of Shiloh, is a thoroughly enjoyable, action-packed read; both boys and girls will be able to relate to the characters. Roxie Warbler is a 4th grade girl with round, pink ears (which she scrubbed daily, inside and behind) that stuck straight out from her head like the handles on a sugar bowl. (Don’t you love that description?!) She is afraid of a lot of things: “…thunder, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and most of all, Public School Number Thirty-Seven, where Helvetia’s Hooligans seemed to have chosen Roxie to be their Victim of the Year.” Her Uncle Dangerfoot is a famous explorer who is known for surviving life-threatening situations, in which he has written survival advice in his book, Lord Thistlebottom’s Book of Pitfalls and How to Survive Them. She has memorized his book; however, Roxie doubts that even he would know what to do when up against the Hooligans. When an unexpected accident finds Roxie in a dumpster, then out to sea and stranded on an island with the Hooligans, she’s able to put her survival skills to good use. This book is entertaining, comical, and has a lovely satisfying ending!

Here are some questions to help guide you as you read it. I have also included some lesson ideas and resources.

Questions while reading: 
  • Roxie wished there was a book called The Book of Hooligans and How to Survive Them. What kind of advice would you put in that book? 
  • Why do you think Helvetia’s Hooligans became hooligans? WHY were they mean to everyone? 
  • What lesson do you think Roxie learned? How did she change in the story? 
  • What lesson do you think the Hooligans learned? How did they change in the story? 
  • If Roxie and the Hooligans hadn’t been stranded on an island, do you think they would have become friends? Why or why not?
Lesson Ideas: 
  • Keep a chart posted (and add to it as you read) of Lord Thistlebottom’s advice. It may be fun to turn this into a class book: advice on each page with illustrations and explanation of how Roxie used this advice in the book. 
  • Do you believe bullying exists in our school? How can you help change that? Make a list of ideas and come up with an action plan. 
  • Write your own book: The Book of Hooligans and How to Survive Them. Sort the different types of hooligans (bullies): social, physical, verbal, cyber and give advice for how to deal with them!
I have created a multi-media menu to help students take a closer look at the reading and bring more awareness to bullying and how to deal with bullies. You can download your copy here. This was my first attempt at using multimedia. I think I will have it saved in our class Dropbox and each student can access the document from a computer or iPod or iPad and save in their own file. I'm excited to try this!

Resources About Roxie and the Hooligans: 
A colorful picture book about a quirky, yet endearing character is Stand Up Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell. 
This is another wonderful book that shows how a character is bullied for her outward appearance and how she deals with the bully, winning him over! Molly Lou Melon is a strong example for teaching confidence and believing in herself! You can get your copy here.
Questions while reading: 
  • How did Molly Lou's grandmother make her feel special? 
  • What were some unusual qualities about Molly Lou Melon? 
  • What happened when Molly Lou moved to a new town? How did things change? 
  • Why do you think Ronald Durkin was so mean to Molly? 
  • What happened to make Ronald Durkin change in the story? 
There are numerous resources and activities for this book. If you have others please share!
  • There is a link here at Scholastic that includes a free lesson plan.
  • This is a terrific lesson plan from Teaching Oasis with activity menu and writing assignment.
  • Molly Lou Melon’s grandmother gives Words of the Wiser, including "Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you." Have these quotes posted on a bulletin board with pictures of your students looking proud or demonstrating a skill they have accomplished.
I know I've told you about Bad Wolf Press and their fantastic plays before (you can read more here). One of my favorite plays is Bullies Anonymous
The music is catchy and the lessons taught about how to stand up against bullies and reasons why bullies are the way they are will stick in your students' (and audience's) heads!
Thanks for stopping by; I hope you’ve found some new resources to use with your class! What do you do teach about bullying? I can't wait to read your thoughts and ideas!

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