Use Say Something in your classroom as a way to begin an open dialogue with students about how it feels to be teased or bullied and what they can do about it. There are wonderful resources at the end of the book about teasing and bullying and ways to stop it at school.
Begin by reading the following quote from the book to the students,
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.” African Proverb
Ask, “What do you think that means?” After a short discussion, tell the students that will ask them again at the end of the story to see if their thinking has changed.
Explain to the students that you while you are reading them the book, you will stop a few times during the story so the students can Turn-and-Talk to someone sitting next to them concerning their thoughts, feelings, or ideas about the story so far. (You might want to model the process beforehand with a short selection of your choice by thinking out loud, using your own questions/connections.)
Start reading the book. Turn-and-Talk after the page with the text –and he hardly ever says hello. I don’t pick on him. I feel sorry for him.
Have the students Turn-and-Talk again a few times during the story. A really good place to do your last Turn-and-Talk is after the page, I wished I could disappear.
Read the next few pages. Stop after, He shrugged and asked, “Why? They didn’t do anything.” “Right,” I said.
Ask students, “Why is she mad at the kids?”
After some discussion, read the last page of the story and ask, “So, what happened? What changed?”
Read some of the information from the back of the book to the students asking their opinion about the suggested actions. Create a class When… Try… chart using the information found in the back of the book that students can continue to contribute to during the year.
End with a discussion about why the author chose to include the quote at the beginning and this one at the end of the book, “One person speaking up makes more noise than a thousand people who remain silent.” Thom Harnett, Civil Rights Attorney
Six-tab What Role do YOU Play? Foldable®
A picture book or novel that has a character that bullies (See list below)
- After reading a picture book or novel that has a character that bullies, have students make the Six-tab What Role do YOU Play? Foldable® .
- Choose a character and discuss the role or roles that character played. Have students write the name of the character and evidence from the book that supports the chosen role or roles. For example, in the book Shredderman, Nolan was a bully when he made a website that made fun of Bubba, he told an adult when he told Mr. Green that Bubba was bullying and he took a stand when he told bullies that his name was Nolan, not Nerd. Continue with additional characters from the story.
- Ask students to choose one character and the role they played. Ask them to turn to a partner and discuss the following, "If you were in this character's situation, what would you have done? Why?"
- After a brief partner talk, ask students to write their response to the question in the space below the tabs.
Children's Books With Characters that Bully
Bud, Not Buddy
Three Good Deeds
I Am Jack
Escaping the Giant Wave
Roxie and the Hooligans
Drita, My Homegirl