Beyond Bullying Prevention Month: Integrating bullying prevention throughout the classroom, all year long!
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, which means that bullying is a topic T.V shows, magazines, and organizations will be talking about regularly. Schools will have units on bullying prevention and people will participate in runs and walks to raise awareness about the issue. All October, bullying will be on everyone’s minds. This is wonderful! But what happens when October comes to an end?
When the organized festivities stop, does bullying also stop? Sadly, this is not the case. Yet, too often, we hold our bullying prevention assemblies and then move on to math classes, vocabulary tests, and science experiments while the topic of bullying is pushed to the back burner. Many teachers recognize this problem, but are unsure of a solution when there is so much other material that must be covered throughout the school year. But what makes us think we have to choose one or the other? The truth is there are myriad ways to integrate lessons on bullying and bullying prevention directly into other academic lessons already being taught. With a bit of creativity, in fact, this integration can even improve those lessons!
Integrating bullying prevention into other subject matter helps students to see the real-world application of the lessons they are learning.
Math may seem intangible, but the idea of 1 in 3 students being bullied daily is a reality that children can see.
This integration also helps children to see that bullying prevention isn’t just a slogan or something trite they are forced to listen to in school. Bullying is about human relations and this does not end in school, nor do the effects of bullying. By integrating these lessons throughout the classroom, we show that this is a vital topic that can affect every part of life.
To give you some inspiration, here are some ideas for integrating bullying prevention education throughout the classroom. These ideas can be scaled up or down to work with children of all ages:
Art is probably one of the first subjects that comes to mind when trying to integrate bullying prevention. Art can be expressive, therapeutic, or socially active, and from painting to acting to drawing, there is something for everyone. Here are a few ideas for integrating bullying prevention into your art class:
Words have such incredible power for expression, making Language Arts another perfect subject for integration. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Math may seem far removed from bullying, however it is a very helpful tool to help us understand the true effects of bullying. Here are some ways to integrate math and bullying prevention:
Science helps us make sense of the world around us, making it a perfect subject to integrate with bullying prevention education.
Music is a powerful tool for expression and change:
Community and Leadership
Civil engagement is important and should be taught at an early age. Here are some ways to build leadership skills and teach about community involvement while also teaching bullying prevention:
This is another subject with nearly endless possibilities. Below are just a few ideas of many:
Investigate and report on different types of bullying, causes, effects, etc, and report it to the class. This can be used in any subject. Take this opportunity to highlight the importance of seeking out information for one’s self rather than simply believing what one hears or is told. Encourage students to seek out the truth rather than spreading rumors.
Lunch and Recess
Extend the lessons beyond the regular classroom and encourage students to sit with someone new at lunch or learn someone else’s game at recess. Learn games from other cultures and show students how different can be fun and make life more interesting.
I hope these ideas inspired you to integrate bullying prevention education throughout your classroom all year long! Bullying isn’t just something that happens in school and it isn’t something that just happens to children. Bullying can happen anywhere at any time and at any age. By boxing bullying prevention into a single day or a single lesson, we are being unrealistic and doing our children a disservice. Instead, let’s continue this vital lesson throughout the year and connect it to real people and experiences. Rather than just teaching our children about the world, let’s also teach them to change it.
Which of these ideas do you like the most? Do you have any special ways of integrating bullying prevention into your classroom this year? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for a good book to integrate bullying prevention into your classroom? Check out This is A. BlobThis is A. Blob, by L.A. Kefalos!
This is A. Blob is a masterfully illustrated picture book suitable for children ages 4-8. Written by L.A. Kefalos, author of several animated shorts, including “Who’s that Knocking,” “Chug,” and “Croc, Pots and Wildebeests,” which was nominated for Best Independent Short Short, Ages 5-8, at the 2009 Kid’s First Film Festival and for best short at The Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival, This is A. Blob is the first of a series following this bully. This first installment follows the antics of A. Blob, a slimy, purple, blob-like creature who wreaks havoc on the elementary school playground with its bullying ways. As the story progresses, however, readers learn that A. Blob may have more to it than meets the eye. Along with its powerful illustrations and rhymed verse for early readers, this story invites children to put themselves in the shoes of another. The book encourages readers to consider why bullies behave the way they do – and start to consider what can be done to help
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Hello! We are Laughing Leopard Press, an independent book publisher from Akron, Ohio. At Laughing Leopard Press, we’re interested in publishing works that contribute to our understanding of this wonderful world. Through this blog, we hope to add to that understanding with commentary on life, literature, and a few things in between. We hope you enjoy the blog and take some time to talk with us in the comments or on our social media sites. Happy reading!
This is A. Blob by L. A Kefalos. $14.95
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