Discovering the Facts

3, 4, 5

The students experience and reflect on a literature book written from the view point of a reformed bully, Confessions of a Former Bully. They analyze the data collected from their survey to determine how bullying behavior affects their school. The students learn that addressing bullying behavior in their school community is an act for the common good - philanthropy. They form groups and develop skits that illustrate "tools" for addressing the behavior.

PrintOne 45-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • define and use vocabulary - common good, philanthropy, service
  • organize and analyze data from a survey
  • listen and respond to a literature book
  • work in groups to create skits illustrating "tools" to address with bullying behavior

Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig Teacher created Survey Tally Form

Teacher Preparation 

Using the student-created bullying survey, create a simple tally form on which students can tally sets of the surveys.  The tally form may feature specific data such as location, frequency or issue. Print enough of the Survey Tally Forms for groups of 2-3 students to each have one Tally Form per group. Create one large master tally form in a display area for teacher use.

Read this article for background: Elias, Maurice. EdutopiaBullying Prevention: Students Share Do's and Don'ts

Teacher Note: The pages in the book Confessions of a Former Bully are not numbered, page numbers referred to in this lesson are counted from the page entitled My Very Important Book About Bullying. If time allows it's highly recommended that the entire book be read to and discussed with the class, or make the book available to those students who would like to read it on their own.


 service: to provide a community or organization with something it needs

common good: working together with other members for the greater benefit of all; promotes the welfare of the community

philanthropy: giving time, talent and treasure and taking action for the common good


Ask the students to respond in writing to this question: Which of the "tools" do you think might work best for you? Why?


Ludwig, Trudy, Confessions of a Former Bully. 2010 Tricycle Press ISBN: 978-1-58246-309-4

Elias, Maurice. EdutopiaBullying Prevention: Students Share Do's and Don'ts


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Remind the students of the fictional character, Kate, who was the bully in the second story they heard and discussed in the last lesson. Say: The author of My Secret Bully, Trudy Ludwig, wrote the story from the point of view of Monica who was being bullied. In another book, author Trudy Ludwig writes about bullying, but this time from the point of view of Kate, the character behaving as a bully. The book is called "Confessions of a Former Bully."

  2. Show the book cover and tell the students that during this lesson you will be reading excerpts from the book. Read sections of the book aloud to the class: the introduction entitled A Note from Katie and My Very Important Book About Bullying, the first section Here's What I Didn't Know about Bullying (9 pages, stopping just after the quote from Mother Teresa). Discuss and reflect as appropriate during the reading.

  3. Say: There were some interesting facts about bullying behavior in elementary schools in the book. Let's see what facts we can learn about bullying behavior in our school from the surveys you collected.

  4. Organize the class into groups of 2 or 3 students. Give each group a set of completed surveys and one tally sheet. Ask the groups to work cooperatively to tally the responses using the teacher created tally sheet. The teacher may want to structure how the groups tally their set of surveys or you may want to leave it to each group to decide on their own strategy.

  5. When the groups are finished, ask the groups to report their findings and place the results on the master tally form. Ask the students to draw conclusions about bullying behavior in their school from the information on the master tally form. As appropriate for the class, have students learn and/or use math skills to determine ratios, percentages and to create graphs using the information.

  6. Once the students have analyzed the data, ask:

    • How is our school affected by bullying behavior?
    • Is this good for our school?
    • Do you think we should and could do anything about it? Why?
  7. Explain to the students that when they act in a way that makes things better for all the students in their school, they are providing a service to their school and acting as philanthropists. Philanthropists are people who give their time, talent or treasure and take action for the common good. Share with them that there are some strategies they can learn and teach others about how to deal with bullies for the good of all in the school and the greater community. By doing the survey and teaching students how to deal with bullies,they are doing something for the common good. They are helping students feel safe and helping to create a bully-free zone at school.

  8. Tell the students that in the book, Kate has some advice about how to handle someone who is acting as a bully. Begin reading again with the section Introducing ... Mrs. Petrowski's Totally Awesome Empower Tools (page 19-30) discussing as appropriate. After reading, list and review the anti-bully"tools" Kate gave in the book for coping with bullies (Say Stop; Why? Why? Why?; Walk Away; So, Whatever, Huh, Who Cares; Change the Subject; Act Silly or Goofy; Turn an Insult Into a Compliment; Agree; Get Away Fast; Print a Cyber Message and Show an Adult; Report to Get Kids Out of Trouble). Ask the students if they have additional ideas for "tools"that a victim or bystander might use when seeing someone else being bullied.

  9. Ask the students to think about which "tool" they might want to act out as a skit. Allow the students to self-select into skit groups. Instruct the group that their skit should take no longer than 3 minutes to present an example of their "tool." All members of the group should help in formulating one or two sentences for the narrator to read to introduce the "tool" and after the skit to explain its effect on the bully. Allow time for the groups to write the narration, develop and practice their skits.


Assess the student discussion participation and ability to work collaboratively with the small groups to organize the data and plan the skit.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.9 Describe how philanthropic activities can bring about social change.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.1 Explore and research issues and present solutions using communication tools.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Discuss an issue affecting the common good in the classroom or school and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.