Bullying is a concept that many 1st graders just don't quite understand. I decided to do a lesson that would use a visual so that the kiddos would have a concrete example of how bullying feels.
We started the lesson by discussing what they already knew about bullying. We referenced past lessons and what they have seen around school. I then introduced the main character of the book that we were reading. I used a document camera to do a quick sketch of Hooper from the book Hooper Humperdink...? Not Him! by Dr. Seuss. We talked about how bullying makes others feel "crumpled up" on the inside. As I read the story aloud, students gave a thumbs down every time something negative was done or said about Hooper. When that happened, I crumpled the sketch of Hooper a little bit.
By the end of the story Hooper was crumpled and torn as you see below. We talked about how important it is to apologize for your actions but that it doesn't completely "fix" how the other person feels. We used bandaids to represent saying sorry and how it helps a little but doesn't take all the hurt feelings away. When you say something to someone, you can never take back what you said and it can often leave unseen scars.
The students agreed that Hooper probably didn't feel so good about himself. They said he must have felt sad, angry, left out, frustrated, lonely and embarrassed (pretty good insight for 1st graders).
When the lesson was finished, each class wanted to hang the poster in their classrooms to remind them to use kind words, treat others with respect, and include everyone.
This was one of my favorite lessons that I have done because I felt like the students really understood the concept of bullying much better.