Tools and Strategies

How Can I Use Books to Address Bullying Among Young Children?

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Early Childhood Question Corner

For Educators | For Parents, Families, and Caregivers

Children’s literature can be an effective tool for addressing the growing concerns about physical, verbal, and relational bullying in schools. Though bullying has been traditionally dismissed by some as “just a part of growing up,” most educators today understand that it is a pervasive problem with damaging effects on all members of the school community. The use of literature to address bullying can benefit students of all ages by improving their ability to understand and cope with problems, helping them to develop personal and social judgment and increasing social sensitivity, empathy, and respect for others.

The discussion guide for the children’s book, The Name Jar, provides an example of using children’s literature to increase empathy and help students to respond constructively to bullying that they observe or experience in their communities. This discussion guide is part of ADL's multi-grade curriculum unit Words That Heal: Using Children's Literature to Address Bullying.

For additional recommendations for children’s books that address name-calling and bullying, go to ADL’s Children's Literature on Bullying.