by Beth Adams
After Katie gets caught teasing a schoolmate, she’s told to meet with Mrs. Petrowski, the school counselor, so she can make right her wrong and learn to be a better friend. Bothered at first, it doesn’t take long before Katie realizes that bullying has hurt not only the people around her, but her, too. Told from the unusual point of view of the bullier rather than the bullied, Confessions of a Former Bully provides kids with real life tools they can use to identify and stop relational aggression.
Discussion questions from SOMN
- Why did Katie write a book about bullying?
- Did your impression of Katie change throughout the book? How so?
- What were the ways in which Katie bullied her friends and others? Have you seen bullying like that in our classroom or school?
- What are the roles of bullying? What roles have you participated in? How might people in each role feel when the bullying is taking place? Are people always in the same roles? Can you be a bully one day and a target the next? Why? Why might people take on these different roles?
- In thinking about Mrs. Petrowski’s “Totally Awesome Empower Tools,” which of the eight tools do you think would work for you? Which ones would not work? How so?
Classroom activities from SOMN
- Create a KWL chart. There are several sections in Katie’s book where she provides factual information about bullying. Ask students what they already know about bullying. Record that information on your chart. Ask students what they want to know about bullying and what questions they have about bullying and cyberbullying. Record that information on your chart. Have students do a research project. They can use StopBullying.gov or one of the organizations in the “Recommended Resources” section in the back of the book. Students can work in small groups on specific research projects. After the research projects are completed, students can create PowerPoint presentations and share with the rest of the class. Record that information on your chart.
- Have students reflect on the characteristics of trusted adults who students can talk to about bullying. Make a list of these characteristics. Share the lists with the adults in your school.