But before the toothpaste, we looked at a Power Point that contained pictures of bullying situations. By looking at the faces and body language of the children, we figured out who was acting like Mean Jean. We talked about feelings, what might the bully be saying and why people were bullies. The children listed many reasons a person was mean- being mad or being bullied themselves, thinking they are better than others, stressed, scared, lack of self control etc. I pointed out that I had recently seen and heard rude, mean name calling in class and that I was having red thoughts and felt we needed more practice using our T.H.I.N.K. strategy.
So, I had the children form a circle and asked them to squeeze out a bit of toothpaste. They looked at me quizzically and one child asked , " What does toothpaste have to do with bullies and Mean Jean?" I smiled and said I will let them know after we squeeze out the toothpaste. They have clearly gotten used to my sometimes odd requests and squeezed away.