Buddies? YES! Bullies? NO!

Buddies? YES! Bullies? NO!

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully!

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

This week let’s shine a light on a problem that doesn’t seem to go away…bullying in school.

Despite a wide range of efforts by administrators and teachers, parents in many communities unfortunately still file upsetting reports about their children being bullied in school.

Bullying has occurred in classrooms, hallways, gyms, playgrounds, and elsewhere, including, of course, online.

What can teachers do to help send the message that bullying is unacceptable?

One answer: tap into visual materials, like colorful posters, that catch students’ attention with positive behavioral tips. As bullying has grown, so has the development of print resources for different grade levels that teachers and parents can use to encourage “Buddies – YES; Bullies – NO!

Posters that feature animals and short, clear messages are perfect for younger children.

If you work with older elementary school children, try addressing bullying and its prevention in a RAP (no singing talent required, I know because I’ve done this) that plays with the word COOL.

Why add fun to the challenge of decreasing such bad behavior as bullying? To catch and keep kids’ attention.

Your goal is to engage students in preventing this unacceptable conduct in creative ways to make a permanent impression. It’s all about mindset – set your students’ minds right; get them to “buy in” to no tolerance for bullies.

Use music to get kids involved in anti-bullying campaigns.

K – 5 kids enjoy learning with music and lyrics. That’s why an anti-bully RAP may help your class.

Follow these steps to RAP IT UP…

After you announce that “We need to spend a little time together with an important subject – preventing bullying,” ask them to join you in a short rap. “Clap

"Let's rap. RAP's hot...BULLYING'S not!"

“Let’s rap. RAP’s hot…BULLYING’S not!”

along lightly with me, or snap to the rap,” tell the kids, “catch the beat, catch the message…BULLYING ISN’T COOL!”


What’s cool? What’s not?

What’s out? What’s hot?

Rap’s cool, bullying’s not!

Bullying’s out, respect’s hot!

Now pull out a one, two, one, two, three “punch” with the steps below:

  1. Repeat your Rap with the class a couple more times to impart your main message.
  2. Post the rap lines on the board (or have them pre-printed in large type on a poster to show) with blank spaces like you see below.


What’s cool? What’s not?

What’s out? What’s hot?

_________________’s cool, _______________’s not!

_________________’s out, ________________’s hot!

  1. Then add to the fun and function of the teaching trick by asking a kid to  take over as lead “rapper.”
  2. Explain that you need him or her to drop in new words that connect in some way to preventing bullying. Encourage everyone to sing along.
  3. Keep the rap rockin’ by inviting other kids to take the lead, as long as your students are cool with the rap

Try this quick trick adding other kid-popular activities, like sports, to the lyrical mix. Sports are cool, bullying’s not! Bullying’s out, Team winners are hot! Note that we all win when no child suffers from being bullied.

"Let's make bullying more than SCARCE...let's make it disappear!" says the scarecrow!

“Let’s make bullying more than SCARCE…let’s make it disappear!” says the scarecrow!

Throughout the school year make seasonal connections with your made-up raps.

For example, ask your class to join in with, Fall’s cool, bullying’s not! Bullying’s out, Halloween’s hot!”

You can even set up an easy-to-assemble mini-stage made of an unfolded seasonal poster on a desk and animate a seasonal character, like a scarecrow behind it.

Invite the class to repeat after the scarecrow, “Let’s make bullying more than scarce…let’s make it disappear!” 

At the end of the seasonal rap, drop the scarecrow out of sight to reinforce the concept that bullying needs to disappear.

After using the fall poster and scarecrow in a quick skit, post these resources on a bulletin board along with a header that reads “Buddies – YES; Bullies NO!” 

Ask students to write their own short raps, using the word cool to describe good behaviors verses bullying. Post students’ writing on the bulletin board under the header.

Kids like to be cool. Cool is a popular word worldwide. Use its word power with easy rhythmic raps to help teach powerful lessons.

What tools and tricks to you use to help kids say “YES to buddies; to bullies – NO?” Please send comments and subscribe here to share ideas.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
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