I’ll admit – I was pretty anxious about finally delivering a personal safety/sexual abuse lesson. Rebecca of School Counseling by Heart has lots of blog posts about how she does these lessons and they were a LIFSAVER. In particular, this post which has a little script of what to say to the kiddos to prepare them was incredibly helpful.
This lesson topic fell right before a major test so I only had 30 minutes to deliver it. I knew that, even more than with my other lessons, I wanted to use books. While the books I selected for 2nd grade (I Said No!) and 3rd grade (My Body Is Private) were alright, it was my 4th grade book, The Kid Trapper, that really rocked it for me.
*Side note: I Said No! was very repetitive and much of it felt a little young for my second semester 2nd graders. My Body is Private was pretty good, but it is outdated with illustrations that weren’t particularly engaging.
Julia Cook’s books don’t always live up to their claims in my opinion, but The Kid Trapper was everything I’d hoped it would be and more.
The main character spends time playing video games at the house of an adult male neighbor loved by everyone. Eventually, the man begins to blackmail the boy into drinking beer, posing for pictures, etc. The book alludes to sexual abuse without actually stating it. My 4th graders were so engaged during this story! They were quieter during this story than most. I also had a lot of participation afterwards when I asked them discussion questions.
One of the things so awesome about this story is that it touches on safety and “sticky situations” issues beyond sexual abuse; it opens the door for discussions on the courage to tell an adult, the importance of stopping things before they go too far, and trusting your gut.