Sunday, April 2, 2017

Melora Kennedy reads "Say Something"

Say Something by Peggy Moss, illustrated by Lea Lyon (read most recently at Northfield Elementary School)

Melora presented Say Something as a felt board puppet play to a Fourth grade class.The book is written in the voice of a grade school girl. The school she attends is diverse and the story centers on a series of incidents that the protagonist witnesses as a bystander. She is a sensitive girl - nonetheless, although she sees other kids being victimized, she doesn't say or do anything. Finally she herself is the target of some bullying in the cafeteria. Later she relates the scene to her brother after school. She complains about the other kids in the lunchroom who watched but did not help. "Why are you complaining?" he said, "they didn't do anything." The light dawns, and in the last scene we see our heroine sitting beside the girl on the bus  no one ever sits next to, laughing and joking. The bystander has become an "upstander".

Activity: The children broke into groups of four or five and practiced a script of a scenario where a young person is the target of bullying based on her skin color. After practicing, the children came together and performed for each other.

Discussion: After the high energy activity we had some time to pull out some key ideas focusing especially on how  bystanders can help when they see a problem. First you can support the targeted child similar to what the girl in Say Something did when she sat beside the girl on the bus. Second you can intervene by speaking directly to the bullying child. Finally, you can tell someone about the problem and get some outside help, especially from adults.

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