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Zeb and Deb anti-bullying K-2 lesson 3: Rob, Tina, and the Mouse Mother tale

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Introduction: Zeb and Deb are a brother-and-sister spy team. They help characters solve problems. Rob and Tina have lost their joy due to bullying. Read how Zeb and Deb assist these two kids in becoming bully-free.

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Three (3) Essential Questions

Teacher asks three correlated essential questions that tie in with the appropriate K-2 Guidance Counseling and Health guidelines for the state of Tennessee. These questions would likely tie in the guidelines for other states; however, since the author is a Tennessee resident, she did not research their guidelines.

1. Teacher says or asks: How do you feel that tattling and snitching is different from telling or reporting?

Students Respond: Accept reasonable answers such as:

* Tattling could be defined, as stated in thefreedictionary.com, “To reveal the plans or activities of another; gossip.”

* Snitching could be defined, as stated in thefreedictionary.com, “To turn informer.”

* Telling could be defined, as stated in thefreedictionary.com, “Revealing previously unknown information.”

* Reporting could be defined, as stated in thefreedictionary.com, “To make a report; An account presented usually in detail.”

2A. Teacher says or asks: Give some examples of when someone is tattling or snitching.

Students Respond: With all answers, try to get across the point that something is considered tattling or snitching when it is done simply to get another student in trouble. Usually the examples are about trivial matters where no one is being emotionally or physically harmed. These examples also include times when you and the other kid should try to work out the problem on your own without involving a teacher like taking turns on the swing instead of hogging a swing the whole recess period.

2B. Teacher says or asks: Give some examples of when someone is telling or reporting.

Students Respond: With all answers, try to get across the point that something is considered telling or reporting when you or someone you know is getting emotionally or physically hurt. Also, if you know that there is a chance they could be hurt like they are trying out a dangerous stunt on the playground equipment, this is another instance where it would be wise to tell the teacher.

3. Teacher says or asks: In the next story, you will hear that Rob and Tina are reluctant to tell their teacher they are being bullied by some of their classmates as they don’t want to be accused of being a tattler or a snitch.

Just like Rob and Tina, if you are being bullied, do you consider it to be tattling and snitching or responsible reporting? Explain your answer.

Students Respond: Accept reasonable answers such as:

If you can’t resolve the situation on your own, always tell a teacher. Telling about being bullied is not tattling or snitching. It is responsible reporting. Telling about another kid getting bullied is also responsible reporting. Since most bullying happens when an adult can’t hear or is not around, the only way they can help is if they know about it.

As for Rob and Tina, it would not be tattling or snitching. Instead, it would be telling or responsible reporting.

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Previous lessons

This is the Zeb and Deb anti-bullying K-2 lesson 3. For lessons 1-2, click the links below:

Lesson 1: Introducing program, song, and class rules

Lesson 2: Rob and Tina lost their joy

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Story time

Teacher says or asks: Zeb and Deb are a brother-and-sister spy team. They help characters solve problems. Rob and Tina have lost their joy due to bullying. Read how Zeb and Deb assist these two kids in becoming bully-free.

This next story is called “Rob, Tina, and the Mother Mother tale.”

Suggested activity #1: Post a picture of Zeb and Deb.

* Zeb and Deb poster and sing-along song or chant PDF download

Suggested activity #2: Post a picture of Rob and Tina.

* Rob and Tina poster PDF download

Suggested activity #3: Post pictures of the various facial expressions

* PFD download: 5 key emotions posters - Happy, Angry, Sad, Scared, and Confused

Suggested activity #4: Class participates in sing-along song called “Spies like Zeb and Deb.” See the video that accompanies this article. If desired, the class could alternatively chant the words rather than sing to the designated tune.

* Zeb and Deb poster and sing-along song or chant PDF download

* YouTube video: Spies like Zeb and Deb sing along video for grades K 2

* Examiner article: Anti-bullying K-2 sing along song called ‘Spies like Zeb and Deb’

Lyrics:

Spies like Zeb and Deb

are very, very wise.

Lost or stolen?

Problems big or small?

They can help you solve it all.

Suggested activity #5: Play the slideshow called “30 Facial expressions that accompany the tale about Rob and Tina”. Have the students practice making each facial expression in turn.

In case you wish to print these or make a class book, a PDF download of the 15 pictures found in the slideshow is included below:

Click link: 30 Facial expressions that accompany the tale about Rob and Tina

Teacher says or asks: I am now going to play you a slideshow of thirty facial expressions. Let’s say the emotion word together on each slide and try to make that particular facial expression. We will first work with the facial expression on the left side of the screen. Next, we will work with the facial expression on the right side of the screen.

First, we will focus on some ‘happy’ emotions: Happy, confident, hopeful, loving, flattered, ecstatic, and amused.

  • Screen 1: Happy – Confident
  • Screen 2: Hopeful – Loving
  • Screen 3: Flattered – Ecstatic
  • Screen 4: Amused – /////

Teacher says or asks: Starting on the right side of the screen, we will now focus on some ‘sad’ emotions: Sad, depressed, lonely, ashamed, and exhausted.

  • Screen 4: ///// – Sad
  • Screen 5: Depressed – Lonely
  • Screen 6: Ashamed - Exhausted

Teacher says or asks: We will now focus on some ‘angry’ emotions: Angry, enraged, disgusted, frustrated, humiliated, rebellious, and vengeful.

  • Screen 7: Angry – Enraged
  • Screen 8: Disgusted, Frustrated
  • Screen 9: Humiliated – Rebellious
  • Screen 10: Vengeful – /////

Teacher says or asks: Starting on the right side of the screen, we will now focus on some ‘scared’ emotions: Fearful, shy, anxious, overwhelmed, suspicious, and shocked.

  • Screen 10: ///// - Fearful
  • Screen 11: Shy – Anxious
  • Screen 12: Overwhelmed – Suspicious
  • Screen 13: Shocked – /////

Teacher says or asks: Starting on the right side of the screen, we will now focus on some ‘confused’ emotions: Confused, troubled, unsure, distracted, and surprised.

  • Screen 13: ///// – Confused
  • Screen 14: Troubled – Unsure
  • Screen 15: Distracted – Surprised

Rob, Tina, and the facial expression game

© 2014 by Debbie Dunn

Note to the Teacher: Have a twelve-inch ruler handy so that you can hold it up at the appropriate moment.

Second note to the teacher: The story about Rob and Tina is original to Debbie Dunn. The story about the Mouse Mother is an adaptation of a story that comes from the oral traditions of Africa. It is used with permission of Opalanga Pugh, a griot of the African culture. Prior to her death in 2010, Opalanga traveled around the United States, sharing the traditional stories of Africa.

Teacher says or asks: You are about to another story about Rob and Tina and the tale the two kids loved the most called “The Mouse Mother.” You will also discover why Rob and Tina chose Zeb and Deb to be their community helpers. Listen for the emotions that the various characters are feeling throughout the story. At the end of the story, we will play the ‘Facial expression game’.

What did Rob and Tina say they had lost?

Students Respond: (Try to elicit the answer that Rob and Tina had lost their joy because some of the kids at school were being so mean.)

That’s right. Next-door neighbors Rob and Tina had lost their feelings of joy because some of the kids at school were being mean.

Poor Rob! Poor Tina! What were they going to do? Let’s all say those words together: “Poor Rob! Poor Tina!”

Students Respond: Poor Rob! Poor Tina!

One day, Rob’s mother read them the short story called, “The Mouse Mother.” This is how that short tale goes.

The Mouse Mother

© 2014 re-told by Debbie Dunn

There was once a mouse mother who had two boy mice babies and three girl mice babies.

One day, the two boys came across some cat droppings. They wrinkled up their noses, looked at each other, and said, “Yuk!” The two boy babies felt DISGUSTED. Let’s all say “Yuk” together.

Students Respond: Yuk!

The two boy babies went home and told their mother what they had discovered. The mouse mother felt SURPRISED. She said, “Oh, my, I didn’t know there was a cat living nearby.”

The mouse mother began to worry and feel TROUBLED. She thought, “I know that is their favorite place to play, but I’m concerned that the cat might come after them.”

Out of loving concern, the Mouse Mother said, “Boys, you shouldn’t go play over there because that cat might get you.”

Even though the two boy babies knew their mother was probably right, they did not like to hear this. They felt FRUSTRATED because they did not want to have to avoid their favorite playground.

Everybody say, ‘Awwwww!”

Students Respond: Awwwww!

The two boy babies finally looked at each other and said, “Whatever! We are going to play there no matter what!” They were feeling REBELLIOUS. Everybody say, “Whatever!”

Students Respond: Whatever!

The two boy babies felt CONFIDENT that they would be fine.

Unknown to the whole mouse family, that part of the field was the cat’s favorite sunning spot. When he saw those two baby mice daring to play there, he felt VENGEFUL. He hatched a plot to get them. In a mean-sounding voice, he laughed to himself, “Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!” Let’s all say that together.

Students Respond: Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!

At home, the Mouse Mother observed her two boy babies acting rather strangely. This made her feel SUSPICOUS. She thought, “They must be up to something. I better keep my eye upon them.”

So, when those two boy babies ran outside to play, the Mouse Mother decided to follow them. The three girl babies decided to follow the Mouse Mother.

The Mouse Mother had almost caught up with her two baby boys when she saw something scary. Behind a bush, she saw a furry tail lashing. She saw a paw extending its sharp claws. Who do you think she saw?

Students Respond: (Allow students to guess.)

Yes, the Mouse Mother saw that cat stalking her two baby boys. Uh-oh! Let’s say that together.

Students Respond: Uh-oh!

The Mouse Mother felt so many different emotions at once. But she knew that if she did not act fast, her two baby boys would probably be hurt badly or eaten. Let’s say that word again.

Students Respond: Uh-oh!

When something scary or threatening happens, both animals and people have an instinct that happens. Does anybody know what that instinct is called?

Students Respond: (Allow students to guess.)

One name for that instinct is ‘Fight, Flight, or Freeze’. Let’s say those words together.

Students Respond: Fight, Flight, or Freeze

If the Mouse Mother had been all by herself, she probably would have chosen the ‘Flight’ option by running away as fast as she could. But she wasn’t all alone.

Have you ever been riding in a car after dark and seen a rabbit or possum standing stock-still in the middle of the road?

That rabbit or possum is probably choosing the ‘Freeze’ option. He or she is probably thinking, “If I don’t move a muscle, maybe that giant thing with wheels won’t get me.”

The Mouse Mother knew that the ‘Freeze’ option wasn’t going to work, because the cat could clearly see all six of them.

So, that just left the ‘Fight’ option. Well, it wouldn’t do any good for a little mouse to try to fight a huge cat by biting or clawing or pouncing. So, the Mouse Mother knew that she could not fight off that cat with her body.

However, she could try to fight that cat with her words.

If a cat and a mouse could really talk and understand each other, which kind of words do you think would keep the cat from wishing to attack the mouse: Mean words, nice words, or clever words?

Students Respond: (Allow students to guess.)

Mean words wouldn’t work very well. Insulting a cat would probably make it want to attack for sure.

Saying, “Nice, kitty! Sweet, kitty” probably wasn’t going to work either. So, forget trying nice words.

So, the Mouse Mother had to choose to use clever words. But, what?

The Mouse Mother thought fast. She remembered a story she had heard that had happened to her mother’s mother’s mother. She thought, “Well, if it worked for my great grandmother, maybe it will work for me.”

So, that Mouse Mother reached deep down inside of herself, looking for every ounce of courage she possessed. We could even imagine that if the singer named Sara Bareilles was around, she would look at the Mouse Mother and sing, “I wanna see you be brave.

YouTube video: Sara Bareilles - Brave

Let’s all sing that phrase to our pretend Mouse Mother.

Students Respond: “I wanna see you be brave.”

That Mouse Mother looked at that cat. She said in her biggest, loudest mouse voice, “Bow Wow!

That cat’s jaws fell open. He thought, “Maybe I need to get my eyes checked. Could that thing be a dog instead of a mouse?”

The Cat was feeling SHOCKED and FEARFUL.

With the ‘Fight, Flight, or Freeze’ instinct, which option do you think the cat was going to choose?

Students Respond: (Allow students to guess.)

Right. The cat was giving in to the ‘FLIGHT’ option as it turned tail and ran away as fast as it could.

The Mouse Mother had saved her babies. She felt relieved and so HAPPY. Let’s all say, “Phew!” together.

Students Respond: Phew!

The two boys looked at their mother and said, “Wow! You are one cool Mama!”

This made the Mouse Mother feel FLATTERED. Let’s all say, “Cool!” together.

Students Respond: Cool!

Just in case the cat came back, they all headed back home. When they were safely inside their mouse house, the Mouse Mother spoke. She said, “Babies, I want you always to remember this. It is very important to learn a second language.”

What second language did the Mouse Mother speak?

Students Respond: (Try to elicit the answer that the Mouse Mother spoke the language of a dog.)

Yes, the Mouse Mother could speak two languages: Mouse and Dog.

Do any of you know a second language like Spanish, French, German, or some other language?

Students Respond: (Give the class a chance to share what other languages they might speak.)

Speaking a different language is not the only thing that the Mouse Mother meant. There are many other kinds of ‘second languages’ you might speak like trying to use mostly nice words when you talk to people instead of mean words.

This class is going to partly be about learning the second language of being nice on purpose rather than using your words or your fists to hurt yourself or others. In other words, we are going to relearn different ways to interact with each other than being accidentally or purposely mean.

In the meantime, the two boy babies started thinking about how funny it looked when that giant cat ran away from their tiny mouse mother. They began to laugh and laugh and laugh. They were laughing so hard that it inspired the Mouse Mother and her three girl babies to laugh really hard as well. They felt really AMUSED.

Gasp! Everybody gasp!

Students Respond: Gasp!

Suddenly, the boys stopped laughing. One of the boy babies said, “Hmmmm! Just in case that cat decides to come back, I think we better start learning that second language right away.”

The other boy baby said, “You’re right. Let’s all practice together.”

So the Mouse Mother and the five mouse babies all started practicing, “Bow! Wow! Ruff! Ruff!”

Can you help them practice?

Students Respond: (Give students a chance to make different variations of dog sounds.)

Rob and Tina liked the story of the Mouse Mother so much that they would often act it out. Tina loved to play the part of the giant cat. Rob got a kick out of playing the part of a tiny mouse. As for the mouse babies, they would sometimes line up Tina’s Barbie dolls and Rob’s G.I. Joe dolls. Other times, they played the parts of the two boy mouse babies as well.

One day, after playing what they called the ‘Mouse Mother Game’, Tina said, “Rob, I think we both need to learn a second language we could call the ‘How-not-to-be-bullied language’.”

Rob said, “Yeah! Or we could call it the ‘How-to-deal-with-mean-kids language’.

Tina nodded.

Rob and Tina had realized that they were going to need to learn a special ‘second language’ at school if they didn’t want to keep on getting bullied.

It’s not that it was their fault. They couldn’t help the fact the Tina was tiny for her age and Rob was big for his. They couldn’t help the fact that they both needed glasses to see. They also couldn’t help the fact that neither of them would win a ‘beauty contest’ even though they were cute in their own ways.

They wanted to be brave like the Mouse Mother when the kids at school tried to make them feel bad. They had already tried on their own and were not successful. So, they decided they needed a helper.

One day, Tina, Rob, and both sets of parents sat down to talk it over. They tried to decide who would be the best helper for Tina and Rob to talk to.

Rob’s mom, Mrs. Robinson, said, “Rob and Tina, there are school helpers you could talk to like a teacher, a guidance counselor, or a principal.”

Tina’s mom, Mrs. Thomas, said, “There are community helpers you could talk to like a therapist, a church leader, a social worker, or a police officer.”

Both Rob and Tina felt reluctant to talk to their classroom teachers as they didn’t want to feel like they were snitching or tattling.

Rob said, “I heard of another kind of community helper.” He turned to Tina and said, “Do you remember when Zeb and Deb helped my cousin Brady find his boat? Maybe they can help us find our joy.”

Tina’s dad, Mr. Thomas, asked, “Who are Zeb and Deb?”

Tina said, “They are a brother-and-sister spy team. Yeah, I would like to try them first before we try one of those other helpers you mentioned.”

So, that was how it was decided that Rob and Tina would consult Zeb and Deb to try to recover their joy.

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Extra suggested follow-up activities:

1. Post a picture of the Mouse Mother to post somewhere in the room.

2. Post an illustrated Fight or Flight instinct poster

3. Post an illustrated poster of Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Self-Mentor

4. Play a YouTube video of professional storyteller Debbie Dunn performing “The Mouse Mother.”

5. To see story about Zeb and Deb helping Brady to find his lost boat referenced in the above story, click on the link below:

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Bulletin Board Idea

You might want to post pictures of these emotions on a bulletin board. Here is the link called “5 key emotions posters - Happy, Angry, Sad, Scared, and Confused.”

As time allows, have the kids take pictures of themselves making similar facial expressions and post them on the bulletin board as well. Alternatively, they can draw kids demonstrating various facial expressions and post them on the board. This would be a good thing to show off on Parent’s Night.

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The Facial Expression Game

As time allows, have class participate in this follow-up activity. This would also be a good game to play when you have a few spare minutes at the end of the school day or class period. This will help build the students emotional vocabulary by understanding the emotions associated with various facial expressions.

Note to Teacher: Print off these playing cards for thirty (30) different emotions. There are four cards associated with each emotion.

Here are the links to the PDF downloads of these cards. There are six emotions included in each set.

  1. Match facial expression to emotion set 1
  2. Match facial expression to emotion set 2
  3. Match facial expression to emotion set 3
  4. Match facial expression to emotion set 4
  5. Match facial expression to emotion set 5

Here are the links to the rules for four different facial expression games you can play: two as a class and two for learning center time or an indoor recess activity.

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Suggested guidance and health follow-up activities

As time allows, have class participate in any of the following related activities:

As suggested in the School Counseling guidelines created by the Tennessee Department of Education for grades K-2, read and discuss these two recommended books:

1. “The Meanest Thing” by Bill Cosby

2. “Let’s Talk about Teasing” by Joy Berry

As suggested in the Health guidelines (Emotional, Social, and Mental Health) created by the Tennessee Department of Education for grades K-2:

1. (Paraphrased) Play a game matching emotions to facial expressions.

2. (Paraphrased) Create and discuss “a role play situation where bullying is involved.”

3. (Paraphrased) Students draw pictures “illustrating how individuals may look as they experience different feelings.” Perhaps they could make a class book. Or perhaps the teacher could take pictures of the students intentionally looking glad, sad, scared, mad, etc. Label each picture with the matching emotion.

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Benchmarks and Standards from the Department of Education for the State of Tennessee

Please note: This anti-bullying lesson ties in with the following grades K-2 guidance counseling and health benchmarks and standards for the state of Tennessee. It could also apply to the guidance counseling and health benchmarks and standards for other states as well; however, since the author is a Tennessee resident, she has only researched Tennessee guidelines.

Please also note: Only key words and phrases will be listed for the standards. For the full text, please see the full-text resource section below for the downloadable PDF guidelines.

SCHOOL COUNSELING & CAREER GUIDANCE: GRADES K-2 (adopted in 2005)

School Counseling Standard 3: “Relate School to Life Experiences”

  • Helpers in school & community:

* Standard 3: Level 1

* Standard 3: Level 3

School Counseling Standard 7: “Self Knowledge and Interpersonal Skills”

  • Feelings:

* 7.2

* Standard 7: Level 1

* Standard 7: Level 2

School Counseling Standard 9 “Acquire Personal Safety Skills”

  • Helpers in school & community:

* 9.2

* Standard 9: Level 1

  • Bullying & Teasing:

* Standard 9: Level 3

* Standard 9: Sample Task

  • “Effective and appropriate ways to respond to ‘put-downs, compliments, and kind responses’.”

* Standard 9: Sample Task

  • “Alternative approaches to resolving conflict non-violently”

* Standard 9: Sample Task

  • Emotion:

* Standard 9: Level 3

TENNESSEE HEALTH EDUCATION STANDARDS PRE-K – 2

Section called: Emotional, Social, and Mental Health”.

Standard 8: The student will understand the importance of positive self-concept and interpersonal relationships for healthy living.”

  • Feelings & Expression:

* 8.1

* Standard 8: Level 1 (three listings)

* Standard 8: Level 2

* 2 Teacher Assessment Indicators example

  • Manage emotions & Feeling sad/sadness:

* Standard 8: Level 2 (two listings)

  • Characteristics of a bully:

* Standard 8: Level 1

  • “Actions to take when confronted by a bully”:

* Standard 8: Level 2

  • “Role play of a bullying situation”:

* Standard 8: Level 3

* Teacher Assessment Indicators example

Full-Text Resources:

School Counseling & Career Guidance: Grades K-2 for the state of Tennessee (Adopted in 2005)

Tennessee Health Education Standards pre-K-2

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Lesson 4: More about tiny Tina and big Rob

Lesson 5: Monkey Mick and Monkey Minn

  • Part A. Zeb and Deb anti-bullying K-2 lesson 5: Monkey Mick and Monkey Minn
  • Part B. Tattling versus telling skits set 1: Name-calling plus using I Messages (coming soon)

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See Debbie Dunn’s articles on | School Conflict Resolution | K-8 Classroom Activities | Women’s Health | Storytelling Website

Subscribe to: | School Conflict Resolution | K-8 Classroom Activities | Women’s Health |

Follow on: | Twitter |

For comments or questions, e-mail: moredunntales@yahoo.com

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