Resouces Chapter 1
It's Not Fair
In the first chapter TG (Terry Grant) is being bullied by hateful Henry.
TG’s background is hinted at in the chapter but not Henry’s, as it isn’t needed for the plot development.
However, I thought it would helpful if you knew Henry’s background and had some explanation of why he acts like a bully. I leave it to individual teachers whether you divulge this to your class or not.
Henry’s back story
Henry’s father is very forceful and controlling. Husband and wife are always arguing and consumed with their own problems. Because of this they ‘spoil’ Henry – giving him anything he wants materially but not emotionally.
Consequently Henry is unhappy and comfort eats, all the wrong things and his parents let him – anything for a quiet life. Because of this he is overweight, he hates being ‘fat’ – he doesn’t know about healthy eating and certainly doesn’t get enough exercise.
Mrs Wolfbaiter is TG and Henry’s class teacher and is also Henry’s aunt – his mother’s sister. She can see what is happening at home and over compensates at school, letting Henry get away with more than he should.
Until he went into his aunt’s class he was made fun of by the other children. When he told his dad he told Henry to stick up for himself and ‘give as good as he got’, even if it meant giving the other children a slap.
So now Henry feels safe in his aunt’s class. He terrorises the other children by saying he’ll get them into trouble with Mrs W – who will she believe – you or me? And he is always careful to do things when the teacher isn’t looking. He is subconsciously trying to take the focus off himself and put it onto TG.
He picks on TG particularly because he knows TG has a short temper and thinks it’s funny when TG loses it. He doesn’t realise it but he is getting his own back for all the unhappiness he suffers. On the surface Henry seems to be quite popular with the other children, but he hasn’t any real friends, they all just want to stay in Mrs W’s good books plus his parents are well off and Henry has splendid birthday parties.
Suggested discussion points
What is bullying?
Is there a difference between teasing and bullying?
When does it stop being just a bit of fun and start to be bullying?
Why do you think Henry is a bully?
Why is Henry so mean to TG?
Do you think Henry is a nice person?
Why do you think he is overweight?
Was it kind of the other children to make fun of him? – is that bullying?
Why do you think the other children join in with Henry – are they bullies too?
Should we tell an adult if we think we are being bullied or that someone else is?
Do you think Mrs Cherry is right about fizzy drinks playing a part in TG’s short temper?
Do you have any signs before you lose your temper?
How can we learn to think before we act?
Suggested titles for writing
The last time I lost my temper......
Things that make me cross .......
One day I looked in a puddle and I saw ......
Theme - Bullying
Other recommended resources
Mud Boy encourages empathy and kindness.
Beautifully written and illustrated,
it is an invaluable tool for teachers and parents to help children put into words how it feels to be bullied.