Weird: A story about bullying in schools

book cover image

Author(s): Cheryl Kilodavis & Suzanne DeSimone


Social Justice focus: Bullying in schools

Synopsis: The narrator is a child who is being taunted by another. Gradually, she loses her sense of self and seeks help from her mother. The girl decides to just be herself, and resumes her former activities. In the end, her confidence is restored and the bully has lost her power.

Lesson Plan: Nancy McRae

Primary/Junior/Intermediate Lesson Plan (Abbreviated Template)

Consecutive and Concurrent Programs

Unit/Topic: The Dangers of Bullying

Grade: 5

Lesson: What is the focus of this lesson in relation to the unit?

I am teaching this lesson to increase student knowledge of bullying as we learn about responsible citizenship, fairness and healthy relationships and to observe students’ collaborative work skills and provide an opportunity for students to incorporate this learning through reading and writing activities. 

Curriculum Areas: What are possible connections to other curricular areas?

In addition to Language Arts (Reading and Writing), there are connections to Social Studies (responsible citizenship), Health and Physical Education (Healthy Living), Art (expression through drawings/posters/paintings) and Religion (Catholic teachings of peace, kindness).

Curriculum Expectations: What Overall and Specific Expectations will be addressed?

Grade 5 Language Arts


Reading 1: Read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, graphic, and informational texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning.

Writing 1: Generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience.


Reading for Meaning 1.4:  demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details (e.g., topic sentence and supporting points in paragraphs, reports, online and print newspaper articles)

Writing 1.1:  Developing and Organizing Content: Purpose and Audience: identify the topic, purpose, and audience for a variety of writing forms (e.g., a poem or song on a social issue for performance by the class

Writing 1.3: gather information to support ideas for writing, using a variety of strategies and a range of print and electronic resources

Writing 1.4: sort and classify ideas and information for their writing in a variety of ways (e.g., by underlining or highlighting key words or phrases; by using a graphic organizer such as a web or ranking ladder)

Writing 1.5:  identify their point of view and other possible points of view

Grade 5 Social Studies: People and Environments: The role of Government and Responsible Citizenship


Inquiry 2: Differing Perspectives on Social and Environmental Issues:  Use the social studies inquiry process to investigate Canadian social and/or environmental issues from various perspectives (FOCUS ON: Perspective)


2.4 Interpret and analyze information and data relevant to their investigations, using a variety of tools.

2.5 Evaluate evidence and draw conclusions about social and/or environmental issues.

2.6 Communicate the results of their inquiries, using appropriate vocabulary a photo essay on the impact of the issue; a brochure or informational poster that presents the strongest points in the position of various stakeholders; a song, rap, or poem promoting the most convincing arguments on the issue.

Grade 5 Health and Physical Education


Healthy Living 1: Demonstrate an understanding of factors that contribute to healthy development.

Healthy Living 2: Demonstrate the ability to apply health knowledge and living skills to make reasoned decisions and take appropriate actions relating to their personal health and well-being.

Healthy Living 3: Demonstrate the ability to make connections that relate to health and well-being – how their choices and behaviours affect both themselves and others, and how factors in the world around them affect their own and others’ health and well-being.


1.1 Personal Safety and Injury Prevention: identify people (e.g., parents, guardians, neighbours, teachers, crossing guards, police, older students, coaches, elders) and supportive services (e.g., help lines, 9-1-1, Telehealth, public health units, student services) that can assist with injury prevention, emergencies, bullying, and abusive and violent situations.

2.2 Personal Safety and Injury Prevention:  demonstrate the ability to deal with threatening situations by applying appropriate living skills (e.g., personal skills, including self-monitoring and anger management; interpersonal skills, including conflict resolution skills; communication skills, including assertiveness and refusal skills)

3.2 Personal Safety and Injury Prevention – explain how a person’s actions, either in person or online, can affect their own and others’ feelings, self-concept, emotional well-being, and reputation (e.g., negative actions such as name calling, making homophobic or racist remarks, mocking appearance or ability, excluding, bullying)

Grade 5 The Arts


Visual Arts 1: Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to produce a variety of two- and three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings.


1.1 Create two- and three-dimensional art works that express feelings and ideas inspired by their own and others’ points of view

1.3 Use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings (e.g., a poster that presents solutions to stereotyping, bias, or bullying, using angle of view).

1.4 Use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques (e.g. coloured pencils, paints)

Learning Goal(s): What are students expected to know, do and understand? We are learning to….

I will learn about the different types of bullying.

I will learn about some of the results of bullying.

I will learn some facts about bullying.  (i.e. how common it is)

I will compose a poem/message/artwork about the dangers of bullying and how it impacts us.

Success Criteria: How will students know they have met the learning goal?   I can….

I can work together with my group to discuss the video and articles and contribute to the graffiti activity.

I can identify and describe different forms of bullying.

I can create an effective poem/message/drawing or painting to reflect my ideas.

MODIFICATIONS / ACCOMMODATIONS How will I meet the needs of my students? Have I addressed any IEPs?

Modification: Matching Activity: Handouts of the following to be provided to students

    Match the words (on the left) to the appropriate description (on the right):

Bully Spreading information that is often false
Bullying Threatening and insulting messages, postings and e-mails; can be a criminal act.
Cyberbullying A person who is repeatedly cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are more vulnerable (i.e. weaker, smaller)
Intimidation To make some feel ashamed or foolish
Exclusion Being considerate of others’ feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others
Rumours Abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone who is more powerful
Humiliation Social rejection; ignoring a peer; preventing someone from joining a group
Respect Frightening someone, making them feel inferior


  • Group work activities to assist students who may struggle with individual work
  • Preferred groups for certain students
  • Scribing for students who have difficulty writing                                                                                                                               

Minds-on: How will I connect to prior and future learning? How will I engage students and set the context for learning?

Minutes: 5 minutes

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

Start the class with the following video that depicts the destructive nature of words when bullying.

Have an open discussion with the students about their understanding of bullying.

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment?

Assessment for Learning – this is a diagnostic assessment to determine student perceptions about bullying.

Action: How will I introduce new learning / reinforce prior learning / practice learning / scaffold learning?

Minutes: 45 minutes

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?


  • create a poster by drawing/painting pictures about the dangers of bullying and/or how to be a friend.
  • Students with special needs may use Google Read & Write as a reading aid (text to speech) and as a writing aid (speech to text) or can be paired with a peer.

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment?

Assessment As Learning – Students will share their opinions with members of their group. Based on their readings and group discussions, students will each write a short message about bullying or create a poster/picture about bullying.

Consolidation: How will I reflect on the learning goal? How will I have students reflect on the learning goal?

Minutes: 10

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

A new initiative has started at the school to reward students’ positive actions to address the problem of bullying.  Every Friday, a student will be recognized as the winner of the weekly Really Awesome Deeds (RADs) – students who demonstrate fairness, inclusivity and kindness are nominated by others. Prizewinners receive gift cards ($5-10) or other rewards such as free pizza lunches and movie tickets.

Ask the students to think about ways that they can make a difference.

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment?

Assessment As Learning: Students reflect on their learning.                                                                                                                               

MATERIALS: What resources and materials do I need? Where can I find them? In a perfect world what other resources might I need?

  • Smartboard
  • Projector
  • Speakers
  • Laptops/Computers
  • iPads
  • Text-to-speech software
  • Chart-paper
  • Markers
  • Lined paper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Construction paper
  • Blank paper for sketching, painting
  • Pencil crayons

REFLECTION: Questions to determine the success of your lesson:

  • Were my students successful in meeting the learning goals and success criteria? How do I know?
  • Did my instructional decisions meet the needs of all students? If not, what are my next steps?
  • What worked well and why?
  • What will I do differently in the future when teaching this lesson? For the subsequent lesson?
  • What are the next steps for my professional learning?


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Social Justice Picture Books Copyright © 2019 by Ruth McQuirter, editor and Gurbinder Kaur, contributing editor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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