Friday, April 6, 2012

"A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue"

 I am obsessed with Julia Cook's  "A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue".  I used this book as a class lesson with my 3rd and 4th grade students to discuss the difference between tattling and telling. Cook does a great job of explaining the "rules of tattling" in a fun and creative manner.  Here is my lesson:

1. Introduce the topic of tattling by holding up the book and asking students if they know what the word tattling means. Facilitate a brief a discussion to assess what students already know about this topic.

2. Read "A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue" to the class.

3. After reading check for understanding by asking clarifying questions such as:
  • What happened to Josh in the story?
  • What are the four rules of tattling?
4.  As students recall the four tattling rules write them on poster paper.  The four rules are:
  1. Danger Warnings ONLY!
    Only warn an adult when a person is in danger of getting their body hurt.
  2. Be a Problem Solver
    If the problem involves you, try to solve the problem yourself first.
  3. Is this a NOW or LATER problem?
    Can we solve this problem be solved at a private time?
  4. M.Y.O.B – “Mind your own business”
    The problem does not belong to you, don't get involved in it!
Call students up one at time to sign the poster. Explain that signing their name means they understand and agree to follow the rules. Hang this poster on a wall or chalk board so students can be reminded of their commitment to follow the rules

5. Pick a follow up activity from Julia Cook's "A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue's Activity and Idea Book" to close the lesson. 
After my lesson the teacher shared her students were using the language in the book. She had overheard a student say "MYOB" to a friend during a conflict! That totally filled my bucket!

Have you used this book before? What are some lessons you have done?


  1. Our kids love this book. I usually have the kids play a game--form two teams and have two kids come up to the front. I give a situation and ask them if it is tattling or reporting. The first to ring the bell answers and explains why they answered as they did. Then two new kids come up and we continue. team that earns most points get to pick the next game activity.

  2. I LOVE this book! And so do my kindergarten and 1st grade students. I always find it funny that after I read the story everyone has a new interest in the color of their tongues!

  3. That sounds like a great way to bring up tattling vs telling. It's just started to become an issue in my class recently. Do you recommend this book for first graders? Or do you have another suggestion?
    First Grade Found Me