Reading Corner: Help Your Child Triumph Over Bullying (& Activities)
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying in schools and playgrounds is increasing…and with the internet and texting, children are no longer safe from bullying just because they are home. As parents, we need to be alert to the signs of a bullying problem.
- Child comes home bruised or cut.
- Child comes home without some of his belongings such as backpack, books or jacket.
- Child does not want to go to school.
- Child has bad dreams or frequent headaches or stomach aches.
- Child comes home by a longer route or doesn’t want to ride the bus.
Parents who suspect a bullying problem need to take immediate action to stop the bullying:
- Speak with your child, asking direct and indirect questions.
- Speak with the teacher, principal, guidance counselor and other parents.
- Be supportive of your child.
- Assure your child that he has done nothing wrong and that you will not let any harm come to him.
- If your investigation does not uncover a bullying problem, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.
Picture books are a wonderful vehicle for helping kids explore difficult issues. Here is a wonderful story that will provide a great opportunity to discuss teasing and bullying with your child.
Hooway For Wodney Wat
Written by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Ages: 4 and up
Bullying, teasing, self-esteem, creative thinking, cooperation, group dynamics, being comfortable with who you are
From Amazon: “Poor Rodney Rat can’t pronounce his R’s and the other rodents tease him mercilessly. But when Camilla Capybara joins Rodney’s class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than any of the other rodents, everyone is afraid. It seems she really is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all of the rest of them. Until our unwitting hero, Wodney Wat, catches Camilla out in a game of Simon Says. Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully.”
Why do I like this book:
I love books that celebrate each individual’s uniqueness! We each bring special gifts to the table of life…and Rodney Rat seems to embrace that concept. Every child will understand how difficult it is to be different. Rodney had a strong positive self-image and this helped him triumph over the bully. The illustrations show us how each character is feeling…even I wouldn’t want to cross paths with Camilla Capybara! What a wonderful story to read to a class during National Bully Prevention Month…or to a child who is having a hard time feeling good about himself.
RODENT PAPER BAG PUPPET
Photo from www.EnchantedLearning.com
Role playing with puppets is a fantastic way to help kids express their feelings. Here’s an easy paper bag hand puppet that even the youngest child can make!
You will need: 1 brown lunch-size paper bag, 1 brown oval piece of construction paper, 1 smaller pink oval, 2 small white circles, 2 smaller black circles, 1 small red circle, 1 black rectangle, scissors, glue and a marker.
1. Cut the brown oval in two pieces and paste each at the top of the paper bag for the ears.
2. Cut the pink oval in two pieces and paste each on top of the brown ears.
3. Paste the white circles for eyes…then paste the smaller black circles on top for the pupils.
4. Paste the red circle for the nose.
5. Cut the black rectangle into six strips and paste on for whiskers.
6. Draw in the mouth.
7. Now read the story again and let your child use the puppet to speak Rodney’s words.
Play ‘Simon Says’…this is a wonderful game to help a young child learn to listen carefully and follow directions!
Lovely lesson plan from Scholastic: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/hooway-wodney-wat-lesson-plan
A lesson plan for second and third graders: http://www.drforgan.com/Adobe%20files/Hooway_For_Wodney_Wat_sample.pdf
Vivian Kirkfield is a mother of three, an educator and the author of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cookinga book that includes hundreds of story summaries and activties. She lives in the Colorado Rockies and is passionate about picture books, enjoys hiking and fly-fishing with her husband, and loves reading, crafting and cooking with kids during school and library programs. To learn more about her mission to help every child become a reader and a lover of books, please visit her Positive Parental Participation blog or contact her to arrange for a school visit or hands-on parent/teacher workshop at email@example.com. Books ordered in October will qualify for FREE SHIPPING and a BONUS GIFT.