The Shellbrook Public Library Kids Book Club members love to read, then discuss their book of choice, voicing thoughts and opinions. Earlier this year, those thoughts turned to bullying versus kindness.
The kids take turns choosing their favorite series. In January, the choice was the Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems, with a favorite work being The Big Guy Took My Ball. (View a reading of the book courtesy of Shannon T. on YouTube.)
The child who chose the series worked with Branch Librarian Dian Campbell to plan activities and snacks for the club meeting. A which-character-do-you-like-best contest was followed by blowing up balloons in colors that represented the two characters. Then three of the club members acted out the story. Taking their cue from the book, the kids discussed bullying while they munched on Piggie and Elephant cupcakes.
Campbell then presented the Wrinkled Heart Lesson (courtesy of squareheadteachers.com) that focuses on empathy, taking responsibility for mistakes, and thinking before speaking or acting. As part of her lesson, Campbell had created Bully Bug cut-outs to represent bullying behaviors. The kids used the bugs and butterflies they made from heart shapes (with ways to be kind written on their wings) to create a bulletin board display: "Don't be a bully bug. Just give a butterfly hug".
"The meeting was a hit," said Campbell. "It's an easy Kid's Book Club idea that takes little prep time but has a great message."