My sexual abuse prevention unit for fourth grade consists of two lessons that focus on how to recognize and report about grooming and sexual abuse. Each lesson begins with a read-aloud story in which a child grapples with complex uncomfortable feelings and how to tell about what has happened. Follow up activities help students think about why it might be hard to tell; understand how telling can change how a kid is feeling; figure out ways to tell, even when you’re feeling very uncomfortable; and practice telling about unsafe or uncomfortable situations. (more…)
The concept of bullying can be hard for young elementary students to understand. They clearly recognize when something is mean, but once introduced to the word “bullying,” tend overgeneralize the term. Before you know it, everything becomes “bullying,” even small conflicts in which both participants share equal responsibility! In order to help kids understand what bullying is, you have to provide them with a definition. But figuring out how to translate “is done on purpose to hurt, happens over and over, involves an imbalance of power, AND is upsetting” can be a challenge for the little ones. (more…)
Lockdown practices have always been anxiety provoking, and are even more so since the Sandy Hook shooting brought the issue of potential in-school violence so close to home for students and staff. It doesn’t matter how many times you try to draw parallels between lockdown drills and fire drills – they are different and kids know it. In fire drills you are preparing to get away from danger; you take action to get yourself to safety and the “danger” only lasts as long as you’re in the building. In lockdown drills you prepare to hide from danger; your response is inaction, and there is no knowing how long the “danger” (even if it is only administrators checking for compliance) will last. Clear, simply stated discussions in advance of lockdown drills help, and now there’s a great resource to use when having these discussions with kids. (more…)
My sexual abuse prevention unit for third grade is comprised of three lessons, which focus on body safety, trusting “yucky” or uncomfortable feelings, recognizing grooming behaviors, and the importance of telling about uncomfortable, scary, or dangerous situations. These lessons revisit and build upon skills and concepts that I cover in previous grades, but prior knowledge is not necessary, so you can use them as a starting place even if your students haven’t already had lessons about safe touch.
For these lessons you will need the booksNo More Secrets for Me by Oralee Wachter, My Body is Private by Linda Walvoord Girard, and Mia’s Secretby Peter Ledwon and Marilyn Mets. You will also need some drawing/coloring pages (more…)
My sexual abuse prevention unit for second grade consists of three lessons, which revisit and build upon the skills and concepts covered in first grade. For these lessons you will need the books Scoop by Julia Cook and I Said No! A Kid to Kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private by Zack and Kimberly King, as well as scenarios from Teaching Kids How to Tell About Sexual Abuse and some coloring pages (linked below.) It will be helpful for you to familiarize yourself with the foundational information about how to teach sexual abuse prevention by reading the posts Teaching Kids How to Tell About Sexual Abuse and Teaching Kids to Recognize Grooming before you teach the lessons. You can link to all my posts about sexual abuse prevention lessons and resources by visiting A Collection of Sexual Abuse Prevention Resources. The objectives and ASCA National Standards addressed in this unit are listed at the end of the post.
I’m always tweaking and working to improve my lessons and units – I want to make sure that they’re meaningful and engaging, and that kids are learning and applying what they’ve learned in real-life settings. Also, I am addicted to just love figuring out how to incorporate new ideas and techniques! (Which may have something to do with why my to-do list is completely ridiculous.) Most recently, I set my sights on my fourth grade bullying prevention unit. Even though this unit has been impactful and well-received, I wanted to: (1) experiment with how integrating technology and art might expand kids’ understanding about bullying; (2) see how this could help me assess student learning; and (3) increase my knowledge about how best to address the Common Core standards within the counseling curriculum. It was a LOT of work, but the outcome has been amazing! (more…)