Bully Free Starts with Me

Did you know that you have the right to stand up to bullying?

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As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, I have paired two powerful books for  first and second graders to open the conversation about how it’s not good to be mean to other people.

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Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seger is a the story of a bull, who is bullied by a bigger bull. It hurts his feelings, but instead of standing up to the bigger animal, he begins bullying other, smaller animals calling them names like Slow Poke, an Pig. Eventually a Billy Goat stands up to him and shows him that he is hurting his friends and the bull stops.

Bully is a great book because it teaches the importance of reading both illustrations and text. Minimal text and simple illustrations draw attention to the emotion and tone of the words. When the words Pig! are typed in a large font, the children know immediately that Bull is name calling. When he says, “sorry” with tears in his eyes, they understand that he has made a change.

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Enemy Pie,  written by the Washington state author Derek Munson, tells the story of a boy who thinks he is the enemy of Jeremy who just moved into the neighborhood. When Jeremy doesn’t invite him to a party and laughs at him when he strikes out at a baseball game, Jeremy decides to make an “enemy list”. He hangs the list in his treehouse and then tells his dad about his problem.

Luckily, Dad undertands the problem with enemies, and makes his son some Enemy Pie to give to Jeremy. When the recipe calls for him to spend some time with Jeremy and get to know him, this young boy learns that often all we need to do is spend time with an other person and get to know them. Before you know it, you’re not enemies anymore, you are best friends.

Here is a video of the story Enemy Pie, narrated by Camryn Manheim.

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What steps can you take to stop people from bullying you?

What kind of Enemy Pie would you make?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

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