A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue Activities

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

'A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue,' by Julia Cook, is a delightful story about tattling that teachers can use to teach an important lesson. The activities below can be used to help students truly connect with this story.

''A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue''

''A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue'' is a clever book that helps teachers explain the problems with tattling. After reading the book to your class, a great way to really make the lesson of the story stick is to involve students in a variety of activities that will get them thinking about what they have read and learned. The activities below, created for use with elementary students, have been designed to help students make connections with the book and carry the meaning behind the story with them.

Tattling Versus Telling

Materials: white construction paper, markers or colored pencils

  • Begin with a class discussion on the differences between tattling and telling. Discuss reasons when it is appropriate to tell and examples of when it is tattling, not telling.
  • Put students into groups of 3-4.
  • Give each group a piece of white construction paper and some markers or colored pencils.
  • Demonstrate for students how to create a large Venn diagram on their papers (with the papers turned horizontally).
  • Next, have each group label the first circle in their diagram ''Tattling'' and the second circle ''Telling.''
  • Now, have each group fill in their Venn diagram. Be sure they include:
    • Definitions for both tattling and telling.
    • Examples of each.
    • At least one thing that they both have in common.
  • Encourage students to use color and illustrations to make their Venn diagrams creative and visually appealing.
  • When complete, let each group share and explain their diagrams to the class.

Tattle Tongue Warning Poster

Materials: poster board (1 piece for each of several groups), markers

  • Put students into groups of 3-4.
  • Give each group poster board and markers to work with.
  • Instruct each group to make a poster warning people not to get tattle tongue.
  • Each poster should include:
    • Definition and explanation of tattle tongue.
    • Ideas for how to avoid getting tattle tongue.
    • Pictures showing what tattling tongue looks like (as illustrated in the book).
    • A creative title at the top.
  • Allow time for students to work in their groups.
  • Let each group share their posters with the class.

Story Summary

Materials: writing paper with room for students to also draw a picture, pencils, crayons or colored pencils

  • As a whole class, hold a discussion about the book. Call on random students to help give a complete summary of the story.
  • Put students in pairs.
  • Give each pair a piece of paper to write/draw, pencils, and crayons or colored pencils.
  • On their writing paper, have each group write a summary of the story. Encourage each group to make their summary at least five sentences long.
  • Along with their summaries, encourage each group to also draw a picture that illustrates their summary.
  • When finished, have each group title their work with both the name of the book and its author.
  • Let each pair share their summary with the class.

Tattle Tongue T-Chart

Materials: drawing paper, pencils

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