Discovering the Facts

3, 4, 5

The learners reflect on a literature book written from the viewpoint of someone who used to bully others, Confessions of a Former Bully. They analyze the data collected from their survey to determine how bullying behavior affects their school. They learn that addressing bullying behavior in their community is an act for the common good, also known as philanthropy. They form groups and develop skits that illustrate "tools" for addressing the behavior.

PrintTwo 45-Minute Sessions

The learner will:

  • define the vocabulary common good, philanthropy, and service
  • teach ways to address bullying behavior
  • read-aloud copy of Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig 
  • results of the survey from lesson one
Teacher Preparation 

Using the fields from the survey, create a simple tally form including location, frequency or issue. Distribute completed surveys to groups of learners so they can share the job of tallying. 

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 or available to learners 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


Which of the "tools" do you think might work best for you? Why?


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    In the book My Secret Bully, we met Kate who was bullying Monica. Today we are reading a book from Kate's point of view called Confessions of a Former Bully by the same author. 

  2. Read aloud some excerpts from the book to learn facts about bullying: 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. Distribute the completed surveys you collected to identify the needs related to bullying in our own school/community.

  4. Small groups of learners work together to tally information on the tally sheet. 

  5. Each group reports their findings and collects the information on a master tally form. Discuss observations and conclusions about bullying behavior in their school from the information on the master tally form. They may use math skills to determine ratios and percentages and to create graphs using the information.

  6. Discuss the results:

    • How do people feel about the presence of bullying behavior?
    • How does this affect the common good and safety of our school/community?
    • Do you think we should and could do anything about it? Why?
  7. If they decide to take action that makes things better for all, 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. Doing research and identifying a need is an act of service that impacts the good of all in the school and the greater community. Teaching others how to deal with bullies helps people feel safe, and that is also a service.

  8. In the book, Kate has some advice about how to respond to someone who is acting as a bully.

    Review the section Introducing ... Mrs. Petrowski's Totally Awesome Empower Tools (page 19-30).

    After reading, list and review the anti-bully "tools" for coping with bullies and talk about any additional ideas for "tools" that a victim or bystander might use.

    • 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
    • Show an Adult a Social Media Post
  9. Small groups may pick a "tool" they want to act out as a brief skit (less than 3 minutes)

    Allow time for the groups to write the narration and practice their skits.

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.