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Short Stories About Bullying for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teaching kids about bullying is a serious task in today's world. This lesson offers some short stories you can use to help kids learn what bullying is and why it matters, all while engaging with good literature.

Why Read About Bullying

As parents and teachers, we know that bullying is a major issue facing youth today. Whether you are concerned that your child is being bullied, witnessing bullying, or prone to bullying others, the topic is likely high on your radar. Even if you are not currently worrying about bullying, you'll want your students or children to be aware of the concept and why it matters.

One way to help kids learn more about bullying is to involve them in reading about the topic. Often, when kids read stories about something like bullying, they are able to talk about it more deeply than if you simply asked them to share personal stories. Moreover, reading about social issues that are relevant to their lives can be a great way to encourage children's interest in reading. The stories summarized in this lesson help kids learn and talk more about bullying.

Stories About Bullying

Each story is followed by a brief summary that focuses on the relationship between the text and the theme of bullying.

Edwardo: The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World by John Burningham

This story tells about a character named Edwardo, who is treated somewhat badly by those around him. Every mistake he made is overemphasized until he starts to believe that he is actually bad. This leads him to start bullying and acting terrible toward others. The story shows kids how suffering can lead to bullying, as well as how a bully can get turned around.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

In this classic story, a little girl starts out loving her unusual name. However, when she goes to school and gets mocked relentlessly for being different, she starts to believe her own name is terrible. A wonderful and insightful teacher helps turn the bullying situation around. The story will show kids how quickly and deeply bullying can impact someone's concept of themselves.

Bully by Patricia Polacco

This very realistic story takes on issues of cliques and cyberbullying, all through Polacco's beautiful literary language. A girl named Lyla sees others bullying a friend of hers on Facebook, and then she teams up with her friend Jamie to try to get revenge. The book really gets into what it means to stand up against bullying, as well as just how challenging and scary that can be.

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