For the past month or so, I have been visiting the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms talking about Bullying. One concept that I've explored with the children has been the role of a bystander. Who is a bystander? How can a bystander make a difference? When have you been a bystander and what happened? What is the responsibility of a bystander?
Last week, I read "Wings" by Christopher Myers to the 5th graders. I absolutely love Myers' collages and I thought that the class would also appreciate the dramatic tale of Ikarus Jackson. They did. We discussed the artwork, Ikarus and his wings, and the powerful impact of a bystander.
We talked about superpowers and how sometimes what makes us special, powerful even, can make us feel different. The other kids (and adults) in the story took Ikarus' difference and used it as a tool for bullying. But one bystander, with her courage and truth, celebrated Ikarus' wings.
What are your wings? What is your superpower? Has someone ever helped you when you had a tough time celebrating your differences?