Book Review: No Kidding About Bullying

No Kidding About Bullying: 125 Ready-to-Use Activities to Help Kids Manage Anger, Resolve Conflicts, Build Empathy, and Get Along (Bully Free Classroom)
Author: Naomi Drew
Interest Level: Grades 3-6

From the Publisher's Website: School bullying is a serious problem in today’s schools—one that can have severe and long-lasting effects on victims. Based on a nationwide survey of more than 2,000 students and their teachers, No Kidding About Bullying gives educators and youth leaders a diverse range of activities they can use to help kids in grades 3–6 build empathy, manage anger, work out conflicts, and stop bullying by peers. Featuring 125 mini-lessons that may be completed in 20 minutes or less, the book is a flexible resource that can be used as a stand-alone curriculum or a complement to bullying prevention and character education programs already in place.

Student activities—including games, role plays, group discussions, art projects, and language arts exercises—affirm the importance of respect, listening, and kind actions at school. Kids learn skills they can use to calm down and conflict resolution techniques for situations when strong emotions threaten to disrupt the peace. With a focus on preventing teasing, name-calling, fighting, exclusion, and other hurtful actions, No Kidding About Bullying also features activities for when mistreatment is occurring. A CD-ROM includes all of the reproducible handouts from the book.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Every month I get together with my fellow elementary school counselors in my district to do curriculum planning and sharing. I believe the exact quote when I introduced this new resource was, "This book is FULL OF AWESOMENESS!" If you are going to spend money - do it on this one. You will not be'll be empowered.

In the picture below I have tagged just about every activity there is in my copy. I'm pointing this out because sometimes when I buy curriculum...I am only able to use a few of the activities (which is upsetting to both me and my wallet). I'd use ALL 125 activities in No Kidding About Bullying.

I must say....I'm impressed. And let me tell you, it takes a lot to impress me. One of the lessons I've used with students is called - Basement or Balcony? It's about using the highest or the lowest part of who we are. After the lesson, the teacher of the class came up to me and said, "As you were teaching your lesson. I was working on my weekly newsletter to parents and I started typing what you were saying. I love it and am going to ask parents to please use this concept and language at home because we will be using them here." When teachers love your lessons - jackpot.

A few more of my favorite lessons from No Kidding About Bullying are: A Get-Along Classroom; Leave It at the Door; Creating Your Place In Other People's Memory Banks; Peace Shield; Using Think Alouds; Responsibility vs. Blame; Basement or Balcony?; Staying in the Balcony; Staying Respectful with Someone You Don't Like; Unhooking from Mean Words and Actions; Don't Get Stung by Zingers; and The Courage to be an Upstander. And these are just a few....I pretty much love them all. They are having a solid impact on our students and giving me a whole new world of language to use with kids.

I also like how author Naomi Drew has put the lessons together. They are EASY to do and I really dig the language she uses for discussions. She's making me a better elementary school counselor! As you know, I love all of my bibliotherapy and these activities can be a good companion to the books I use. However, I've also been able to fill up a 30 minute lesson just using an activity on it's own. And hear me out, this guide is not just for school counselors it's for teachers too! I'd really love to get No Kidding About Bullying for all of the 3-5th grade teachers at my school. It's a major community builder and a wonderful approach to building student relationships. My school year just got a lot better!

Find more educator goodness at Free Spirit Publishing

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1 comment

  1. I love "No Kidding About Bullying" and I am glad you share that love too! The Balcony vs. The Basement was one of my favorites too! ;)

    Check out my podcast with Naomi Drew about the book: