Everyone counts at Alluem Kids! And so do all the colors in Kathryn Otoshi's picture book One. This is one of my favorite books on the subject of bullying and getting along with each other - even the tougher personalities in our lives...like Red. Red is a hot head who likes to pick on Blue, a quiet color. Red was such a bully he often made "Blue feel bad about being Blue." He would often taunt, "Red is hot! Blue is not!" And when the other colors heard this business, they would comfort Blue, but never in front of Red. They too were afraid of Red - which just made him bigger and bigger! Then one day a grey-shaped number One showed up with "bold strokes and square corners" and he stood right up to Red. "I, for One, stand up and say, No!" Red did not like this. He grew hotter and hotter! One inspired the others and they wanted to count, too! "Yellow felt brave and said, Me Two! And Green said, Me Three!" All the colors wanted to count, including Blue, and they all stood up to Red, who grew smaller and smaller. Then One thought, "Can Red be hot AND Blue be cool?" Sure!! Red wanted to count, too, and joined in the fun! It would be a more peaceful world if we could just recognized that everyone counts!
You can start really great discussion with children of any age through this story - how to recognize a bully, what to do if you are being bullied, what you can do if you see someone being bullied, what the world would be like without bullies - just to name a few. For the Alluem Little Kids this week, after the story and some discussion, we worked on the below activity.
The kids were to pick a strong color to represent the bully. If they had a bully in their life, they could put a name to that circle. The number One would represent themselves - strong and straight, standing right up to that bully. The other circles would represent the people in their lives who supported them - friends, family, teachers, classmates, teammates. Seeing how many people in their lives who support them makes that bully much smaller!