Project Cornerstone – Simon’s Hook

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Simon’s Hook CD Fish

Dear [Parents of Room X],

Hello from the ABC Readers of Project Cornerstone. Last [insert date] we came to the class and read SIMON’S HOOK, written by Karen Gedig Burnett and illustrated by Laurie Barrows.

It is a story about a boy named Simon who gets teased by his friends for having a strange haircut. Upset by the teasing, he runs into Grandma Rose, who tells him not to take the bait. When he doesn’t understand, she tells him a story of two lakes. One lake is empty because the fish took the bait.

The other lake is full of happy fish, Grandma Rose explains, because they didn’t take the bait. In other words, the fish didn’t respond to teases!

The fish knew five ways to avoid the bait, or teases:

  1. Do nothing or ignore.
  2. Agree with the bait, or tease.
  3. Distract from the bait, or tease.
  4. Laugh at the bait, or tease.
  5. Swim away to another part of the lake. Which is a metaphor for go to another part of the playground.

If the child tries all these and they don’t work, go to a caring adult. For “caring adult,” the class gave us examples like mom or dad, older cousins, and teachers.

These ways are also a great example of “Using Your Lid” from last month’s book HAVE YOU FILLED A BUCKET TODAY by Carol McCloud.

Those five ways of addressing teasing are five ways your child can use his or her lid to protect his or her bucket of feelings. In fact, we brought in a bucket and lid to demonstrate this.


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Bucket Lid for Simon’s Hook.

Here is a photo of the bottom of the lid. Note the five hand gestures associated with each of the five ways to avoid the bait, as well as the sixth hand gesture which correlates to going to a caring adult. Reviewing these hand gestures regularly will reinforce the five ways to avoid teasing, as well as give you an opportunity to discuss and reinforce lessons from this month’s book, SIMON’S HOOK, and last months lesson in kindness, HAVE YOU FILLED A BUCKET TODAY. (The images of the laughing girl are used with permission from Myed89 (

For our activity, we went to the color-table groups and each child received a fish made out of CDs and glittery foam.

In each color-table group, we offered an example of a teasing scenario that the children provided, like “I won, you lost!” and “You’re as slow as a snail!” and someone  sticking out their tongue.


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The kids thought this was a “radio”. I felt so old.

Using their fish, and one of the hand gestures, the children acted out one of the five ways to respond to teasing.

After the activity, we taped the CD fish on the inside of the room door, to serve as reminders of the story and discussion, the activity, and the day’s lesson on teasing.

The book, SIMON’S HOOK can be checked out at the school library and the [if applicable, insert name of your town’s public library here].


The ABC Readers of Project Cornerstone: [names of parent volunteers]