Polk Middle counselors share book with English classes as part of Anti-Bullying Month

School counselor Langlee Rogers reads to Caroline Proctor's eighth grade class at Polk County Middle School.

The month of October has been very busy at Polk County Middle School with a focus on Take A Stand, this year’s theme for Anti-Bullying Month.

Students have heard announcements, signed a pledge and focused on researching a person that took a stand for something in their ELA classes. School counselors provided a mini-guidance lesson, reading The Judgmental Flower by Julia Cook to all English Language Arts classes.

“I was able to attend the American School Counselor Conference and the North Carolina School Counselor Conference last year because of the Polk County Community Foundation,” said PCMS eighth grade counselor Langlee Rogers. “Julia Cook was a speaker at both events and I purchased the Judgmental Flower wanting to bring its message back to PCMS.”

The Judgmental Flower tells the story of a young blue flower who is unhappy when a purple flower grows near him because he is different. Through the words of wisdom from the blue’s mother flower, he learns that being different is OK and actually makes the world a better place.

School counselors read to all ELA classes at PCMS throughout the month of October. ELA teachers then had a writing prompt or activity follow up with each class.

“Having students apply characterization and character traits to themselves and their lives through the activities made the book The Judgmental Flower come alive for them,” said seventh grade teacher Kathryn Patterson. “Our students having this discussion with Ms. Huffman allowed them to see the real-world application to what they are learning in class.”

Patterson had students create a flower using their hands, with personal character traits when working with a group and individually. Students then created a coffee filter tie-dye flower to go along with the metaphor in the Judgmental Flower.

“I enjoyed making the tie dye flowers,” said student Zion Summey. “It made me understand the metaphor in The Judgmental Flower because it is about how we are all better working together and being friends then working against each other.”

“I really enjoyed the hands on activities that we did with the book,” said student Sam Rogers. “Making the hands with our character traits and the tie dye flowers helped me understand what the book was saying about not judging people but getting to know people.”

“As I was making my tie dye flower I was thinking about how in the book the flowers were better when they did not judge one another,” said student Emily Garcia. “When the colors came together on my flower it made me think that people are better working together rather than against each other.”