Simon’s Hook Lesson

Many other counselors have already sang the praises on the internet of Simon’s Hook but I have to join in. This month I used this with our 3rd grade classes to teach them how to be a ‘free fish’ and not get ‘caught’ when people tease them and it was a huge hit. Inspired by The Inspired Counselor’s lesson (no pun intended!), I created this lesson plan. Not counting the review of our previous lesson together, this took 35-40 minutes in each of my classes.

The Lesson


Simon's Hook Lesson - The Responsive Counselor

Essentially, we read the book…

Simon's Hook Lesson - The Responsive Counselor

…watch the YouTube clip for Grandma Rose’s story about the fish (only 1:35-5:40)…


…review the strategies, identify which were used given certain situations…

Simon's Hook Lesson - The Responsive Counselor

…and then do an activity where I go fishing for students and they sort their responses into ‘free fish’ responses or ‘caught fish’ responses. I walk up to each student and say “You’re a little shrimp!”, they stand up and give the response on their card, and then classmates use a hand motion to designate which type of response it was.

Simon's Hook Lesson - The Responsive Counselor
Simon's Hook Lesson - The Responsive CounselorSimon's Hook Lesson - The Responsive Counselor

There was no academic choice in this lesson so I incorporated movement. I did this with the students selecting a hand motion for ‘free fish’ and a hand motion for ‘caught fish’ that they used to show whether or not the response was biting the hook.

The Response
The kids looooooooved this lesson! My students go crazy any time we view any video and although this activity didn’t have any points or winners or losers or goals they still viewed it as a game. I will say that students had some difficulty understanding that a ‘free fish response’ vs. a ‘caught fish response’ was NOT the same thing as kind words vs. mean words. After I did this with a few classes, I made sure to start explicitly explaining that a ‘free fish response’ meant the argument and conflict could stop (though the teasing might continue) but a ‘caught fish response’ continued the arguing (and then I did some role plays with this). This lesson would also translate well into a small group session or individual counseling intervention.

3 Responses

  1. Hi Sara,
    I think your webpage is awesome. I’m a school counselor as well in Virginia area. I stumbled across your webpage as I was looking for a lesson for conflict resolution to present to my students during our distant learning period. I wanted to use Simon’s Hook story that I have read many times and I love the strategies to help students solve social problems with their peers. I would love to use the videos if this is allowed. Thanks again for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

Hello, I’m Sara!

With 10 years of experience in
elementary school counseling,
I get to serve in a different way now
– by helping fellow counselors and

I value quality over quantity,
effective practices and resources,
and meeting the unique needs of all
our diverse learners.


Shop Our Cyber monday sale 11/27 & 11/28