Monday, April 30, 2007

How to Bury a Bully!

Below is an activity that I found that I thought would lend itself well to the derogatory language that students use so flippantly without any regards to others feelings. With the recent Virginia Tech Shootings, we need to make a stand in our schools for not allowing "ugly words and actions" to hurt others. We need to recognize that these ugly words can do detrimental emotional damage to children that can destroy lives...

Ugly Words Are Out!
As you discuss classroom expectations, introduce the idea that "ugly words" have no place in your classroom. Ask students what they think you mean by "ugly words." Then have the class generate a list of words that might be found on an ugly-word list, and write the words on a piece of chart paper. (Explain to students that any word that is considered a swear word would definitely be on the ugly-word list, so there is no need to mention them. Point out that the same is true for such words as dummy, jerk, dork, geek, hate, or ugly.) You might start the list with the word "can't." What about the word quit? Go around the room and give each student an opportunity to add an ugly word to the list. When you are satisfied that the students' supply of ugly words has run dry, dramatically rip the chart paper off the pad, let it fall to the floor, and stomp all over it. Next, rip it up and crush it into a ball. Finally, get a shovel, take students outside, and ceremoniously bury the list of ugly words. This activity will have quite an impact: students will always remember the "ugly words" that will not be accepted in class.
Becci Motes, Kelley-Smith Elementary School, Palatka, Florida

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
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