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Bullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations

Bullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations

by Lester L. Laminack, Reba M. WadsworthLester L. Laminack


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"We believe focused read aloud experiences with carefully selected children's literature followed by guided conversations is one way you can create a climate in your classroom, school, or district where bullying is not an accepted or rewarded behavior. A climate where an individual's humanity and human dignity trump any difference(s) and kindness is the order of the day." Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth

Bullying Hurts is not your same-old anti-bullying guide. Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth show how the read aloud, a familiar and proven instructional technique, can be used as a powerful way to neutralize bullying behaviors, create community in the classroom, and help you meet the Common Core State Standards at the same time.

Recent research shows that punishing students who bully is not enough, that we must begin every child's education by establishing relationship skills and building empathy among students. Lester and Reba recommend a series of read aloud books that focus on our shared humanity and can be used on day one of Kindergarten and throughout the elementary years. They help you support the development of children's insight and compassion. Bullying Hurts guides students toward increased understandings about bullying behavior with a framework of five recommended read-alouds and accompanying lessons that help you:

  • define and discuss the important lessons about bullying embedded in each book
  • develop literacy skills and strategies, conversation, critical thinking, character analysis, and reflection
  • connect read aloud experiences to the anchor standards for reading in the Common Core.

Bullying Hurts does more than help children gain the insights and language needed to confront and neutralize the behaviors of bullies. It convinces us that by working together, we really can prevent bullying.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780325043562
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 07/20/2012
Pages: 168
Sales rank: 1,170,368
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Lester L. Laminack is Professor Emeritus at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina where he received two awards for excellence in teaching. Lester is now a full-time writer and consultant working with schools throughout the United States and abroad. He is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and has served three years as coeditor of the NCTE journal Primary Voices and as editor of the Children's Book Review Department of the NCTE journal Language Arts (2003 - 2006). He also served as a teaching editor for the magazine Teaching K - 8 and wrote the Parent Connection column (2000 - 2002). He is a former member of the Whole Language Umbrella Governing Board, the Governing Board and Secretary of the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Board of Directors for the Center for the Expansion of Language and Thinking. He served as the Basic Reading Consultant to Literacy Volunteers of America from 1987 through 2001 and is a former member of the Board of Directors of Our Children's Place. Lester has served as editor (2017) of the Writing Department for the ILA Journal Reading Teacher. Lester's academic publications consist of several books including Learning with Zachary (Scholastic), Spelling in Use (NCTE), Volunteers Working with Young Readers (NCTE), and his contributions to The Writing Workshop: Working Through the Hard Parts (NCTE), Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature (Heinemann), Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum (Heinemann), Climb Inside a Poem (Heinemann), Cracking Open the Author's Craft (Scholastic), Unwrapping the Read Aloud (Scholastic), Bullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations (Heinemann), The Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide (Heinemann), and Writers ARE Readers: Flipping Reading Strategies into Writing Instruction (Heinemann). In addition, he has several articles published in journals such as The Reading Teacher, Science and Children, Language Arts, Primary Voices, and Young Children. Lester is also the author of several children's books including The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins, Trevor's Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth, Saturdays and Tea Cakes, Jake's 100th Day of School, Snow Day!, Three Hens and a Peacock (2012 Children's Choice K - 2 Book of the Year Award), and The King of Bees in addition to a forthcoming nonfiction poetry collection, Voices for Civil Rights all published by Peachtree Publishers. His newest books for teachers, The Ultimate Read-Aloud Resource: Making Every Moment Intentional and Instructional with Best Friend Books (Scholastic) and The Best Friend Fiction Collection (Scholastic) are available now. Lester currently lives in Dillsboro, NC and Asheville, NC with his husband Steve and their two dogs, Bailey and Sora. They are the proud grandparents of an adorable little girl named Everette. You can connect with Lester on his website,, or on Twitter at @Lester_Laminack.

Reba Wadsworth, a former elementary classroom teacher, guidance counselor, and principal, now works as an independent consultant. She has conducted numerous literacy workshops at the local, state, national and international level. Reba currently serves as a national consultant for Booksource, Inc. and Developmental Studies, conducting workshops across the United States. She is coauthor of Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature, Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum, and Bullying Hurts.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 Working Toward Kindness, Civility, and Human Compassion as an Integral Part of the Curriculum 1

Chapter 2 Getting Started: We Have So Much in Common 12

Chapter 3 Moving In: There Are Ways in Which We Are Different-Not Less Than Others, Not Better Than Others, Just Different 32

Chapter 4 Inside the Circle: Thinking, Feeling, Acting 50

Chapter 5 At the Core: When Others Are Not Thoughtful, Caring, and Kind 67

Chapter 6 Getting Focused for Action: An Opportunity to Explore the Actions of Others, Reflect on Our Own Feelings, and Redirect Our Behaviors Toward Fellow Human Beings 87

Chapter 7 Final Thoughts 108

Appendix A Additional Texts to Support Working Through the Layers 113

Appendix B Sample Parent/Guardian/Caregiver Letter 134

Appendix C Sample Antibullying Pledge 136

Appendix D Activities for Community Building 137

Appendix E Resources for Educators 145

Bibliography 147

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