Committee for Children Blog

No Name-Calling Week

Today's blog was written by Dr. Kim Gulbrandson of Milwaukee Public Schools.

No Name-Calling Week

Every year since 2004, during the fourth week of January, schools across the country have participated in No Name-Calling Week with educational activities aimed at ending name-calling and verbal bullying. This year, No Name-Calling Week is January 23 through 27.

The No Name-Calling Week Web site features lots tools for engaging students (grades K-12) in conversations about name-calling and bullying. It includes free, downloadable teacher resources such as lesson plans, literature recommendations, promotional items (such as stickers and posters), and daily activities for celebrating No Name-Calling Week. It also provides information for parents, such as how to talk with educators about bullying. It even offers student activities such as art projects and creative expression contests.

If you teach the Second Step or Steps to Respect program, you are already teaching many of the prosocial skills that can help reduce name-calling and bullying:

  • The Second Step elementary curriculum includes lessons on handling name calling, being respectful, showing compassion, taking responsibility when feelings are hurt, handling put downs, understanding perspectives, and accepting differences.
  • The Steps to Respect bullying prevention curriculum has lessons on respect, making friends, and refusing and reporting bullying.

Here are some additional ideas for promoting No-Name Calling Week:

  • Read and discuss the book Words are Not for Hurting by Elizabeth Verdick (ages 3-7).
  • Establish the no put-downs rule by requiring students to give someone two put-ups for every put-down
  • Have a positive comments box in which students can put compliments to others. Find a daily time for this, such as at the end of the day or after recess. Share the comments with individuals or the whole class.
  • Involve students in generating solutions for reducing name-calling through a class problem-solving activity. Have the students work in small groups to answer these questions: What is bad about name-calling? What can we do to stop name calling? Discuss in the large group and create a strategies poster from the ideas generated.

The more we provide children with opportunities and strategies to express themselves in positive, respectful ways, the better the chances they will use them in their daily interactions.  No Name-Calling Week is a great start toward reducing bullying! Get more tips on how to celebrate No Name-Calling Week in your school.