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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Simon's Hook: A Story About Teases and Put-Downs Lesson Plan Ideas

With the third graders, I did a unit on Simon's Hook. There is so much that can be done with the book! Simon's hook is a story about how to deal with teasing and put-downs. When Simon has a bad hair day and someone calls him a name, he gets very upset. Grandma Rose then tells Simon a story about how to handle teases and put-downs, from a fish's perspective. When someone teases you, they are throwing you the hook. When you get upset, you are biting onto their hook. Grandma Rose helps Simon learn how to "swim free" from the teasing hooks that people toss his way.

Youtube Videos

Grandma Rose's Neighborhood Youtube Videos: As a review of the book, or even in place of the book, show these videos to the class. Part one has the intro about how teasing is "throwing a hook". Part two is the story about how the fish learned to swim around the hooks instead of biting. Part three shows some role plays about handling teasing.
Grandma Rose's Neighborhood Part 1
Grandma Rose's Neighborhood Part 2

Grandma Rose's Neighborhood Part 3

Which Strategy is it?

After discussing the strategies of how to avoid biting the hook, we played a little class game. I wrote each of the five strategies on the board. After another student reads the scenario, the class would show me with their hands which number they think the scenario is an example of. Below are the scenarios that I used.

The whole class is about to play kickball. Sam says to the Dustin, “We’re gonna beat you guys!”. Dustin looks at Sam and shrugs, thinking to himself, “I really don’t care if they win”

Amy and Sara are playing checkers when Matt approaches them and says to Sara “Your mom is fat”. Amy and Sara continue to play checkers as if nothing had happened.

Patrick is telling a joke to his friends. “Knock knock!” (who’s there?) “Interrupting Cow!” (interrupting Co-) “MOO!!!”. Chris looks at Patrick without laughing and says- that was a dumb joke. Patrick says “yeah, it sure was!”

While playing dodgeball, George says “Ha ha you missed me!”. John responds by saying “what I really miss is my X-box. Man I would love to be at home playing that now!”

Josh just got finished telling a story to his friends about embarrassing himself this weekend with his family. When he was finished,  Jason said, “wow. Really? How dumb can you honestly be to think that would work!” Josh responds by saying “well, you’d be surprised just how dumb I can be sometimes”

Stay away (avoid)
Kelly started calling Sharon names on the playground. Sharon decided that she’s had enough of the name calling, so she decided to turn around and walk in the other direction from Kelly. 

Role Plays

Students were divided into groups of 4 and were assigned one of the 5 strategies. They came up with a short role play of a situation where a kid used that strategy. While presenting to the class, the other groups had to figure out which topic each of the groups had chosen. 

Game Time!

This is an activity that I saw on There is a ship at the top of the board that has a teasing remark, "You're a little shrimp!". There are a lot of fish cards in a pile that have responses to that statement. If the statement is one that "bites" the hook, it is place on top of the baited hook/strings. If it is a statement that helps the fish avoid the hook, they are place on the side with "Free Fish".

Take Away!

At the end of the unit, each of the students received one of these cards to remind them of what they can do to avoid "biting the hook".

Other Activities: 

  • Give each kid a hand cutout, fishing pole, string, and two paper fish. Have kids write a teasing comment on the pole or hand cutout. On one of the fish, write a comment that would be considered "biting" the hook. Glue this fish to the string. On the other fish, write a comment that would represent the "free" fish. 


  1. This is great! I have the book and had found the videos but was looking for an activity to go with the lesson. The kids love role plays so this is perfect!

  2. Where did you get the cards that each student received at the end of the unit? I love this book and your activities are great. I'd like my students to be able to have a card with the strategies to refer to.

  3. Where did you get the cards that each student received at the end of the unit? I love this book and your activities are great. I'd like my students to be able to have a card with the strategies to refer to.


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