Lesson: What Makes School Good for Everyone?

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Lesson Plan

Lesson: What Makes School Good for Everyone?

Book Citation

My Secret Bully byTrudy Ludwig

Grade Band


Approximate length of time to teach the lesson

90 minutes, can be split into two parts.

Overview of lesson

My Secret Bully is all about a girl named Monica who deals with being bullied by another student, who is supposed to be her friend. After reading My Secret Bully, students will more fully understand bullying behavior and how this can affect someone’s school experience. Then, students will discuss other things than can positively or negatively impact one’s school experience. Finally, the class will work together to create classroom norms which all will agree to and sign. The sign will be posted for all to see throughout the year, as a reminder of their commitment to make school a good place for everyone to learn.

Type of Reading

Read aloud as a class, showing pictures.

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will be able to identify things which affect their (and others’) school experience.

  2. Students will work together to come up with a group of class norms that will enable everyone to have a good school experience.

Washington State Standards Addressed


2.2.3 Understand and analyze story elements.


1.1 Uses listening and observation skills and strategies to focus attention and interpret information.

2.1 Uses language to interact effectively and responsibly in a multicultural context.

2.2 Uses interpersonal skills and strategies in a multicultural context to work collaboratively, solve problems, and perform tasks.

Materials required

    • My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig

    • Whiteboard or large paper for class brainstorm.

    • Large paper for groups for writing down their norms.

    • Large cardstock for the final product, for all to sign.

    • Writing utensils (pens, markers, etc.)

Instructional plan

Preparation: Determine places to stop and ask questions.
Before reading: Show the cover of the book and ask students to predict/infer what this story might be about. Brainstorm what they think “bullying” is.
During reading: Stop at pre-determined places to ask questions (such as, what do you think Monica is feeling right here? Why do you think she says she has a stomach ache?)
After reading:

  • Ask students to partner-share anything new they learned about bullying. Have a few students share with the group, then lead a discussion on bullying behavior. The teacher may want to share his/her own bullying story, how bullying affected Monica’s schooling, and how it can affect the students’ schooling experience.

  • Create a large class list of things that affect their schooling, in addition to bullying. (Note: encourage students to name things that are positive as well as the negative issues!)

  • Split students into small groups (students have previously worked in small groups and understand how to work productively). Tell them that we are going to create a list of class “norms” for all to follow that will enable everyone in the class to have a good school experience. Encourage them to write down the three or four things they think are the most important to do in order to make school positive for everyone. Demonstrate the difference between a positive statement versus a negative statement (ie, instead of “No bullying” put “value everyone as an important part of the classroom”).

  • Students put up their posters for all to see. Compare posters for redundancy, and as a whole group create one collaborative list of class norms.

  • Create a final copy of class norms. Ask everyone to read and sign it, showing that they agree with the norms. Post the copy where everyone can see it, and refer to it often to remind students of what it means.


  1. Teacher will listen to students’ answer, looking for correct answer to questions about what affects their schooling.

  2. Teacher will circulate, listening for appropriate interactions between students as they work to create class norms.


    • Students use the writing process an essay about “what makes school good for everyone” which they share with their peers.

    • Students create mini-posters with pictures depicting what the norms “look like” in practice.

    • Students use skits to depict how the norms could be carried out in school.

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