This story is based on Tomie dePaola's life as a young child. Oliver Button doesn't like sports like all the other boys in his class. He likes to read, draw pictures and dress up in costumes. Everyone calls him a sissy, even his dad. When he enrolls in dance class, all the other boys make fun of him and even worse, some writes on the school wall, "Oliver Button is a sissy." Regardless of what is written, Oliver keeps dancing in hopes of winning a contest. When he doesn't, he's afraid to go back to school to face all the bullying, but to his surprise, "Oliver Button is a sissy" is not longer written. Sissy is crossed out and the word "star" is written in its place.
- Journal Entry: Have you ever been made fun of for something you were interested in?
- Have you ever made fun of someone for something they were interested in?
- Select some students to act as "roving reporters". During recess, lunch or another selected period of time, have them observe, record, and tabulate how many different situations, dialogues, or actions demonstrated bullying behaviors. Have them report to the class and then discuss the results.
- Have students write a news article about bullying and how it affects their lives at school on a daily basis. Students can interview their classmates as well as teachers. After, the class can put together a class newspaper and publish it for the school to read.