Bullying, Blurting, and Peer Pressure


1. My Mouth is A Volcano - Julia Cook
In this book, Louis learns that he is "erupting" others. Erupting stands for interrupting. In guidance, we talk about the many ways we can "erupt" others
1. Talking while others are talking
2. Raising our hand, but are shaking our hand and making "ohh, ooohhh" noises
3. Any noise that is distracting (tapping, whistling during quiet times, etc.)

We also talk about ways to help us not blurt or erupt others

1. We need to hold our hand up quietly.
2. If we think we are going to blurt, we grab our "words in the air" with our palms and make a fist
3. We put our hand in our lap
4. We wait until we are called on, and then we release our palm/fist and then say what we wanted to talk about

During guidance, we give many examples of when, why, and how we "erupt" kids and adults. We also talk about how our words are important to us, but there are other kids who have important words, too, so we need to share and take turns.

2. Bully Beans - Julia Cook
In this book, Bobbette is a big bad bully who teases kids and threatens to turn them into human pretzels. This book explores what bullying is and what it isn't. This book also talks about family environments and how that plays a role in the schools. I use this book to really teach kids the difference between mean moments and bullying. The kids use skills to help stand up to bullies or mean students by sternly (saying something loud without yelling) telling someone to "please stop!" and put their hand out. We also talk about who to tell when they see someone bullying someone else.

The most important lesson for the students is learning the difference between kids being mean and bullying.

Mean moments are when students say or do something mean ONE TIME and then it STOPS.

Bullying is when students say or do something mean MANY TIMES to one or MANY students even after receiving CONSEQUENCES.

The students learn in guidance that being mean and being a bully look and sound the same, but the difference is how many times it happens


1. Cliques Just Don't Make Cents - Julia Cook
In this book, Penny realizes what it feels like to not feel special. She doesn't have ridges and is copper, so she starts feeling bad about herself, because she isn't like the other coins who are silver and worth more. This book has many themes including self-esteem, clique behavior, and positive self-talk. Penny doesn't feel good about herself, and feels like she is worthless, until she meets Dollar Coin who is very friendly. Dollar Coin talks to Penny about the importance of feeling proud to be different. Dollar Coin helps Penny see all of her good qualities and teachers her that changing her outlook and thoughts can change her feelings about herself.

In guidance, I use this book to talk about being proud to be different and be yourself. We talk about how Thoughts Cause Feelings which is a HUGE lesson I teach all students. If you are having thoughts like "I can't do it!," "I'm not pretty/good/strong/fast/etc. enough" or "I'm not special. I am worthless" then those thoughts cause us to feel sad/mad/depressed/etc. Changing our thoughts to be more positive causes our feelings to be more positive and happy

2. Peer Pressure Gauge - Julia Cook

In this book, Norbert is a "Namuh" (human spelled backwards). Norbert experiences what it feels like to resist negative peer pressure. In guidance, we use the example of silent lunch. We have 5 minutes of silent lunch each day for kids to focus on eating. During this time, many students feel pressured to talk to each other. We talk about how we have to use our integrity and do the right thing, even when it is hard. During guidance, we talk about the importance of making good choices, even when others are not. Saying "No" when people want you to do something that you don't want to do or that will give you a consequence is hard.

During guidance, and many other times each day, I focus on teaching the kids the importance and definition of the word "integrity." I tell the kids that integrity means "doing the right thing when no one is looking and even when others are not doing the right thing"

Below is an insert for parents from the book, "Peer Pressure Gauge" by Julia Cook. Julia Cook writes many social stories for younger children that are very applicable and fun to read. Kids really seem to enjoy the themes and stories, and how they relate to them at school.

Peer Pressure Gauge