Friday, January 6, 2012
This book has promoted some awesome discussions in the classrooms I use it in. Kids just open up and talk about the characters and immediately start making connections to real life. We focus on the power of the bully vs. the power of the bystanders. Then we do an activity from the Bully B.E.A.N.S. Activity and Idea Book to show the importance of the bystander. The bystanders can take away the power of the bully when they work together. In the activity book, there is an activity where you use a blanket and have students demonstrate this power struggle. You label one student as the bully, one as the victim, and 3 as the bystanders. They line up like this: bully, bystanders, victim. The bully starts out with the blanket and then slowly the bystanders start pullying the blanket (the power) back over to the victim. We talk about how the power needs to be equally balanced. It's a really powerful lesson!
I also keep a jar of "bully beans" on my desk as a reminder for students. Sometimes students come in to see me and say they need a bully bean. They are asked to tell me how they're going to use it before I give them one. This is one that the kids still talk about!