Thursday, October 13, 2011

Good-bye Bully Machine

                                                                      October is National Anti-bullying Awareness month.  I can't think of a better way to spread awareness than reading Debbie Fox and Allan Beane's book, Good-Bye Bully Machine.  In their book, Fry and Beane compare bullying to a machine.  A big machine is loud, scary and not fun to be around.  Like a machine, bullying is dangerous to be around and makes you feel lonely and sad.  What I love about Good-Bye Bully Machine is the way that Fox and Beane, not only identify the definition of a bully, they also discuss the ways that you can help to keep the bully machine running.  Ignoring a bully is supporting a bully. Laughing at a bully's behavior adds fuel to the machine.  Bullies strike in in many ways.  Some are silent and some are violent, but all types are damaging.  Good-Bye Bully Machine encourages discussion on how to stop this hurtful, degrading behavior. Fox's scrapbook style illusttrations and metaphor to a machine make it easy for students to understand and react to the powerful message. She gives ideas on how students can stand up to bullies to stop the nasty machine.  The book encourages higher order thinking skills and questioning, leaving a meaningful impact on all who read it.  Educate your children.  Unplug the monster machine!

Check out this powerful video supporting Good-Bye Bully Machine:

Lesson Plans/Activities:
1.  Purchase the Good-Bye Bully Machine Card Game.  These cards encourage children to talk about what defines a bully, how it feels to be bullied and how to stop bullying from happening.  It is important to discuss strategies so that children are prepared to stop bullies, not support them.

2.  Create machine parts out of construction paper and have students write down mean, hurtful behaviors.  Create hammers out of construction paper and instruct students to write down ways to stop bullying.  Create a poster or bulletin board with the bully machine parts.  Surround the machine with the hammers, waiting to break apart the machine.  This will serve as a constant reminder of appropriate, helpful behavior.

Visit for guided questions, discussion topics and activities written for Good-Bye Bully Machine by Free Spirit publishing.  It's free!

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