________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 40. . . .June 17, 2011.


Bullying & Conflict Resource Guide.

Tricia Carmichael, ed.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2010.
82 pp., pbk., $24.95.
ISBN 978-1-55277-693-3.

Professional: Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Gail Hamilton.





As a class, read and discuss the school’s current code of conduct/discipline policy and identify what the consequences are for incidents of cyberbullying. Ask students if they agree with the consequences stated, and/or if there is a need for further development of a specific cyberbullying policy to be created. If the class agrees that there is a need for a new policy, encourage students to brainstorm ideas that could be presented to school administrators and have them submit or present their ideas.

Written by teachers and teacher-librarians who have used the “Deal with It” series in their schools, this companion book contains lesson plans and cross-curricular activities for eight of the series’ books. Topics include arguing, bullying, cliques, cyberbullying, fighting, gossip, racism and teasing. Each topic starts with a “Before You Begin” section which offers suggestions for planning and introducing the unit. These include, but are not limited to, creating a bulletin board in the classroom, inviting a guest speaker, developing a survey or questionnaire, and displaying books on the subject. Teachers are also encouraged to inform parents, the school guidance counsellor and/or principal prior to starting the unit so that they are aware of the potentially sensitive issues which might arise as a result of the discussion or some of the class activities.

     Following the introductory section, there is a brief list of the theme’s highlights along with several discussion questions. Teaching activities are provided in a table which refers to related pages in the specific “Deal with It” volume. The table also describes the activity, lists its matching subject area (these range from drama and art to social studies and media literacy), and indicates whether the activity is meant for individuals, pairs or small groups. Some examples of the activities are creating surveys, public service announcements and short skits, writing journal entries, designing posters and bookmarks, and researching news stories to find out, for instance, how the media treats bullying or teasing. Finally, the chapter is divided into three more sections, each of them about a certain personality type specific to the topic. For example, in the chapter about cliques, the three kinds of people described are the outsider, the insider and the witness, whereas in the chapter about arguing, the three individuals are the challenger, the dodger and the peacemaker. Each of these “types” is presented on two pages with highlights of their characteristics followed by discussion questions and another table of classroom activities.

     The book’s strengths are many: firstly, there is a variety of activities to choose from, some of them taking only a few minutes to complete and others taking days or even weeks, depending on the amount of time that the teacher has to devote to the unit; secondly, the activities span the curriculum; thirdly, they can be adapted to suit one’s classroom or a particular group of students; and, finally, they do not build on each other so a teacher has the freedom to select whichever activities are best for the group.

     A table of contents and a list of additional resources- books, web sites, films and DVDs- are provided.

     This book is a great resource and guide for the middle school teacher.


Gail Hamilton is Library Learning Resources Consultant at the Instructional Resources Unit, Manitoba Department of Education, in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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