We read the book A Bad Case of the Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook. This book is always a 1st grade favorite. It tells the story of Josh, a boy who often tells on others unnecessarily with the goal of getting them in trouble or getting attention for himself. After hearing the possibility that if his unnecessary "tattling" does not stop, he could become afflicted with the dreaded "tattle tongue", Josh fails to provide a warning when a situation on the playground could have caused a classmate to be hurt. That night, Josh receives a visit from the "Tattle Prince" who shares with him the rules for tattling: "Be a Danger Ranger, Be a Problem-Solver, Now or Later and M.Y.O.B. (Mind Your Own Business)" if a problem is not dangerous and does not involve you.
I always have mixed feelings when presenting a lesson about "tattling" because I often hear from teachers how much instructional time is lost in the classroom due to students reporting unnecessary things about their classmates, yet I worry that some students might feel discouraged from seeking adult help in dealing with an unsafe situation. I feel that this book does a really good job of emphasizing that we must be responsible for providing a "warning" if someone is in danger and the students seemed to grasp that concept during our lesson. We created a paper plate puppet of Josh from the story. We also played a game where we identified situations where we must immediately warn an adult such as our brother playing with matches or someone pushing people down in the bathroom versus situations that we could ignore or attempt to problem solve on our own first such as when a friend gets in front of us in line or when someone is not completing their work in class.
Here are some parent tips for getting your student to talk about their school day.