This story describes how Jake changed from being a 'bully magnet' to a 'bully buster.' When Jake is in second grade he meets a boy called Link Baxter who exhibits bullying behaviours. Jake is struggling to avoid being Link’s target until one day the teacher assigns Jake and Link to work together on a class project. Through this experience Jake learns strategies to stop bullying when it happens.
|| WITS LEADS Connection: Did it work?
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Conflict and Feelings
- What is the conflict in the story? Jake has been bullied in all his years of school and is still bullied by Link Baxter.
- How does Jake feel? He experiences different feelings such as anger, meanness, and embarrassment. He is hurt, not having fun and powerless. At times he feels confident because he can think. He is also scared, intimidated, and threatened
- Jake used a variety of strategies to deal with his bully problems. What were they? Ignored; laughed it off; made fun of himself; confronted Link; shared knowledge with his sister; fought back; stood up for himself; did not bully; used his head; realized he had power and became assertive in his actions and words.
- What worked and what didn’t work? What else could he have done?
- In the book, it says: “If there is no one to bully, a bully isn’t a bully, right?” What does this quote mean?
- What expectations did Jake have for Link? Why does he think Link will bully him?
- What was Jake’s final solution to his problem? He stood up for himself in refusing to do all the work for the project. He got the courage to face Link just as he got courage to look under the bed when he was afraid of monsters. When the occasion arose for him to have power over Link he did not use it. He chose to help Link by reading the report. He also realized that Link was covering up some of his weaknesses by acting like a bully.
- How did this solution make Jake and Link feel? Jake felt empowered and Link felt thankful. There was no longer an imbalance of power. Both were able to see good qualities in the other.
- How did Jake know he had solved the problem? Although he and Link were not friends, Link no longer bullied him and neither did anyone else because Jake learned to have the confidence to stand up for himself. He was no longer bullied by anyone because he understood he could control how he responded.
- What else could Jake have done to solve the problem?
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?
- Distribute the What Would You Have Done? handout.
- Ask students to complete it, thinking about what they would do if faced with the situations outlined there.
- In their discussion groups, have students list and define all the words from the story that relate to bullying. Word lists could include:
- bully magnet
- making fun
- take things
- tattle tale