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Blow the Whistle on Name-Calling (K-5)

OVERVIEW
This lesson helps students develop a strategy for group self-monitoring of name-calling in the Physical Education class and may be transferred to recess.

OBJECTIVES
Students will describe the effects of name-calling.
Students will be able to use the names of classmates.
Students will identify Safe Sports Space Rules.
Students will commit themselves to stopping name-calling in physical education class.

AGE/EXPERIENCE LEVEL
Grades K-5.

THINGS TO PREP & TOOLS NEEDED
Paper, pencils, ball.

TIME
60 min (1 class period).

PROCEDURE: PART 1—CLASS DISCUSSION ABOUT NAME-CALLING
Ask students to “think, pair, and share” in response to the following questions:

  • Why do people sometimes call others mean names that hurt?
  • How does it feel to be called mean names that hurt?
  • Would you want to be around someone who uses mean names that hurt?

After students have had some time to discuss each, have them silently think of mean names that hurt. Provide some examples. Do not have students share these names out loud. Have students write a mean name that they have been called or heard someone else called on a small piece of paper. Fold it up. Put papers in a “Penalty Box.” “Lock” it up. These names will stay in the penalty box during physical education class and recess time for the school year. No one will call anyone else mean names. They are all locked in the penalty box.

Have all students blow an imaginary referee whistle and say - “Tweet! Name-Calling is not ok here.”
Encourage everyone to help everyone else remember that name-calling is not ok here by “Tweeting” when they hear it.

PART 2— GROUP JUGGLE WITH NAMES
Ask students to learn everyone’s name in class. Have students stand/sit in a circle. Pass a ball around the circle so that everyone tosses the ball to the person on their right until the ball goes all the way around. Tell students that when they catch the ball, they should say the name they want
to be called before tossing it to the next person and taking a seat or making some sign to indicate they have had the ball. This is a good opportunity to tell students that they get to decide what names they want to be called, and that this can change over time. Ask everyone to remember as many names as they can.

For a second round, have students pass the ball to anyone in the circle, but they must say that person’s name before they toss them the ball. Everyone must catch the ball before anyone can catch it a second time. Time how long it takes for the group to pass the ball to everyone in the circle and say the name of the person they are passing the ball to. Repeat to try to beat their time.

PART 3— CLOSURE
Tell the students how important it is to call everyone by the name they like to be called and to leave the mean names that hurt in the penalty box. Emphasize that everyone can help remind each other by Tweeting and saying, “No name-calling here.”

TERMS TO KNOW
Assigned/Legal Name - an name that is assigned to someone at birth and is used on legal documents, such as their birth certificate.
Nickname - a name, usually a shortened or different version of person’s legal name, that a person prefers to use. Or a consensual familiar or humorous name given to a person that they answer to.
Chosen Name - a name that someone chooses to use in full replacement of their legal name.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR DIFFERENTIATION
For students who have learned the concept of pronouns, these can be added into part 2. For example, students will say “Kai, she/her” or “Aden, they/them” before passing the ball. For Kindergartners, the discussion can begin in the classroom and be reinforced during PE class. For older students, this discussion can be expanded to include slurs and other derogatory comments than name-calling, and can be related with more examples of penalty consequences in sports.

FOLLOW-UP/EXTENSIONS
Students can reference and address the Penalty Box throughout the year when name-calling, bullying, or derogatory comments arise in PE.

OTHER LESSONS TO EXPLORE
GLSEN’s Changing the Game Resources for PE teachers and athletic directors, That’s a (Gender) Stereotype!