Saturday, December 10, 2016

Everyone Loves Bacon! A lesson on popularity, fitting in, and being yourself.

Last month I read The Invisible Boy  with a class and the conversation turned to popularity, fitting in and being yourself. The conversation was so good we needed a follow up lesson. Here it is: 

ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors (Domain/Standard):  
Mindsets: 1. Belief in development of whole self, including a healthy balance of mental, social/ emotional and physical well-being 3. Sense of belonging in the school environment
Behavior- Social Skills:
2. Create positive and supportive relationships with other students5. Demonstrate ethical decision-making and social responsibility6. Use effective collaboration and cooperation skills 7. Use leadership and teamwork skills to work effectively in diverse teams 8. Demonstrate advocacy skills and ability to assert self, when necessary 9. Demonstrate social maturity and behaviors appropriate to the situation and environment

Student Learning Objectives: I can create a definition of popularity. I can work in a group, with a partner, and by myself. I can explain what it means to fit it.

Materials: Everyone Loves Bacon, paper bags, markers or crayons, I Wish slips of paper, post it notes or scrap paper.

 As a table/ group discuss what they think is the definition of popularity. You can also have them discuss what it means to fit in. Then on a post it note or scrap papers ask them to write down their definition of popularity and/or fitting in. This will be a working definition they can change and add to  throughout class. 

Next, read and discuss Everyone

Loves Bacon.  Discuss how the books relates to popularity and fitting in. We also talked about self esteem/confidence vs. cocky and arrogant. If possible (because the class has had previous lesson) ask how it relates to The Invisible Boy. You can also discuss feeling comfortable with yourself and the pressure to fit in.

Next we played a quick game of  Quiz Quiz Trade for review.

Then, I asked students to think about the discussion they had today and the book and go back to their definition. They could add on, change, etc. and then they turned in for their exit ticket.

Next, ask students to think about a time they might have hidden something about themselves because they wanted to fit in. I asked them to think of things they have been scared to share for fear of fitting in.  
Each student then got to decorate their paper bags with things we know about them, that they are comfortable sharing, that anyone might know about them that isn’t private. I had a bag as an example.  
Then ask students fill out the I Wish slips; I wish my teacher knew.... I wish my class knew..... I wish my parents knew.....and I wish.....,  These slips went inside of their bags, because they are often hidden and take a lot of courage to share. If time allows, students may share their answers.  
Lastly I invite students to leave their bags with me if they want me to know something about them that is on the inside. I took them home over the weekend and read and wrote notes back to the students. 
A student with Down's shared she wished her class knew how scared she got in crowds. 
Plan for Evaluation: How will each of the following be collected? 
Process Data: number of classes taught, number of students in each class
Perception Data:  Number of students able to create a definition of popularity/fitting in. Number of students able to answer QQT game questions.
Outcome Data:  Number of student self referrals about concerns about fitting in or popularity. Number of student self referrals for peer relationships (including bullying and friendship).

Follow Up:  Teacher will be given a copy of Lady Pancake and French Toast for follow up in morning meeting.


  1. Laura - I just want to let you know how much I enjoy your posts - so many good ideas! You are my guidance lesson muse! I am also a school counselor whose best friend is the librarian. I wonder if you librarian has a blog that she can follow too! Christina (School counselor in VA)

    1. Hi! You are too kind. I am certainly learning from others all the time, including my best librarian friend. Here are two of her blogs: and I hope your friend likes them as much as me.