Source : Jennifer Hench , ehow.com
Teaching the youngest of students, primarily the preschool age set, about the dangers and issues surrounding bullying is a complex task. Young children are just beginning to express individuality and learning the skills associated with socialization. Bullying is an issue which permeates through all ages. Because of the need to nip bullying habits early on, preschool students require lessons to help teach what bullying is, why the matter is inappropriate and how bullying can be prevented. Though reading books and having open discussions is a start, incorporating additional activities into lesson plans will help to further drive the message and issue home to young children.
No Name Calling Promise
One of the primary elements associated with preschool bullying is name calling. One lesson plan suitable for younger children is to have the entire group sit down in a circle and listen to the reasons why name calling is a form of bullying. Tell the children that name calling is unacceptable behavior and convince children to agree that being called names is not a pleasant experience. To drive home the message of the lesson, each child signs a no name calling pledge and promises not to use derogatory or mean names to describe or reference others. Hanging the pledge sheets along the walls of the room helps keep the promises in plain sight, further reminding children that name calling is not allowed.
This or That
Preschool age children are still developing language skills and assessing the true meaning of certain words. Though many children find humor in words heard through media such as radio and television, it is imperative to help children understand that using harsh words or phrases is intimidating to others. One lesson to help illustrate the point is to have a role playing scenario hosted in front of the children. Using two adults, have the adults run through examples of proper and improper ways to express feelings and sentiments. For example, one adult says 'Your hair needs brushed after being in the wind." and the other adult says "Your hair is ugly and messed up." Ask the children in room to state which version of the comment was less hurtful and have kids use their own words to explain how it makes them feel when someone says mean things to them.
Little Bear, Big Bear
A play or performance, using stuffed animals, can be a way to introduce the concept of physical bullying to preschool age children. Have adults or educators sit at the front of the class and act out a very basic performance about bullying. Have one stuffed bear be noticeably larger than the other and have just the big and little bear acting out the scene. Use a recognizable subject, such as recess or play time, to make sure young children can follow along with the story. Have the large bear steal away a ball from the small bear to set the scene. The little bear asks nicely for the ball back and the big bear refuses and begins to use name calling and pushing to bully the little bear into backing down. Discuss with the class why the big bear was acting that way and point out that the big bear was bullying the smaller bear.
Classroom Rules Chart
A visual representation, creating and decorated by the class, is one way to keep the topic of bullying centralized within the physical classroom. Have each child work with one sheet of paper and crayons. Each child draws a picture representing what constitutes bullying. You can guide children to use depictions of yelling, pushing, shoving, biting, hitting or screaming. Gather all drawings once all kids have completed the picture and write across the bottom of each sheet, in big letters, 'No Bullying." Hang the pictures around the classroom to serve as reminders as to what bullying is, why bullying is hurtful and why your class has pledged not to allow bullying. This lesson is further enhanced by explaining to children that each student is to go directly to the teacher to discuss any forms of bullying they have experienced, witnessed or participated in.