This week, we are discussing bullying in second grade. Given the Massachusetts bullying legislation, it is not only incredibly important for us to begin to educate our students on bullying at an early age, but is also the law.
For this lesson, students watched an episode from the show Arthur, a cartoon about the experience of a group of students in elementary school. In the episode, Arthur, the main character, who is usually nice to his peers, starts to make fun of a friend for the sweater she is wearing. It takes the work of his teacher, friends, and the target of the bullying for him to realize that what he thought was a joke was actually bullying.
As part of the lesson, the students took time to consider what made Arthur’s actions bullying. They learned that when a person continues to tease someone even after they have been told to stop, it’s bullying. The students shared their surprise that Arthur, who is usually a nice character, could become a bully. They learned that anyone can make the mistake of teasing someone repeatedly without realizing how hurtful it can be. We also highlighted the importance of the bystanders, the other friends who saw what was happening and worked to help the target. Students learned that bystanders have a lot of power in a bullying situation. They can make things worse by laughing at the actions of the bullying student. Or they can work to help resolve the situation.
If you have a moment, ask your child what they remember from the cartoon we watched. You can even review the questions we discussed. The episode can be found online by searching for “Arthur, So Funny I Forgot to Laugh,” and the questions we reviewed are:
- What made Arthur’s actions bullying?
- Were you surprised that a usually kind character like Arthur could become a bully, why or why not?
- Why do you think he bullied the girl in the video?
- In the end, who helped him figure out that what he was doing was wrong?
School Counselor, Armstrong Elementary School
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