What picture forms in your mind when you hear the word “bully”? Do you picture a big kid with bulging muscles and a scowl on his face? The traditional image of a bigger kid stealing a smaller kid’s lunch money certainly holds true from time to time.

But did you realize that not all bullies are big? It’s true. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes — and they can be boys or girls. Some bullies — called cyber bullies — can’t even be seen because they cause problems online rather than in person.

When you mention bullying, most kids have a good idea of what it is. Bullying is acting in a way that’s purposefully mean or hurtful toward another person. The targets of bullies are often people who have trouble standing up for themselves.

Bullying actions can take many forms. Sometimes it is physical, such as pushing, hitting or kicking. Many times, though, bullying is emotional, like using hurtful words, teasing or threatening others.

Whatever form the actions take, they can have major effects. Bullying hurts feelings and can make children feel isolated, scared, sad, embarrassed and even sick. Some students who are bullied regularly end up skipping school to avoid bullies.

Why do bullies do what they do? The simple answer is it makes them feel better about themselves and gets them the attention they may be seeking. Bullies get satisfaction from the reaction people have to their actions. When bullies are mean and the target of their actions cries or runs away, this makes bullies feel important and happy because they are in control.

Have you ever been bullied by someone? If you have, you know how bad it can feel. Don’t think you’re alone, though. You might be surprised to learn how many kids have been bullied at one time or another.

Experts believe that as many as 75% of the children in the United States have been bullied at some point in time. Unfortunately, being bullied sometimes leads children to bully others as a way of dealing with their own bad feelings from being bullied.

The good news is that, with practice, you can learn how to manage your reactions to bullying. If you don’t give a bully the reaction he or she wants, chances are that you’ll take that power away from the bully.

You can also learn how to create an atmosphere in your school where bullying will not be tolerated. This might include choosing to act with kindness toward everyone you meet. It might also mean not participating when someone is made fun of, and standing up for others who are being bullied.

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    • Hello there, Samuel! Thanks so much for checking out today’s Wonder and being the first Wonder Friend to let us know what you thought about it! We hope you have a WONDERful day! :-)

  1. Dear Wonderopolis,

    I loved today’s wonder! I also think tomorrow’s wonder of the day is about the stars.

    Remember back on wonder of the day #603 – Do you love a parade? I thought wonder of the day #604 was that Can dogs do jumping jacks and I was wrong. Wonder of the day #604 was not that Can dogs do jumping jacks. Wonder of the day #604 was Do pets need exercise?

    TJ

    • We think you were really close with your guess for Wonder #604, TJ! Dogs are pets and jumping jacks are exercise! We liked your guess a lot! Thanks for visiting today’s Wonder and letting us know what you think tomorrow’s Wonder will be about, too! :-)

  2. I enjoyed learning about bullying and it happens a lot at my school.
    It happens a lot and hurts a lot of people. We have tons of assemblies and people just never stop bullying! I think tomorrow’s wonder of the day might be a bat.

    • Thank you for sharing how bullying happens at your school, Joseph! Unfortunately, it happens to a lot of Wonder Friends all over the world every day. We hope everyone who visits today’s Wonder learns something new about ways to deal with bullying behavior! :-)

  3. I LOVED the wonder. My youtube channel is a bully free site! And I DISLIKE bullies because they make people feel bad, so, then feel better!
    ~Betsy

    • We think it is AWESOME that your video channel is a bully free zone, Betsy! Thanks for taking a stand against bullying…we’re super proud of you! :-)

    • That’s a GREAT question, Jenna! Thanks so much for WONDERing more about today’s Wonder of the Day®! :-) Bullies aren’t all big. Some are small, too! Bullies come in all shapes and sizes and can be young or old, boys or girls.

  4. I was totally off! :( But it’s ok! You’re right, guessing is fun! :D I saw this movie before, in school! It was so funny :) Today’s wonder was useful for people that were being bullied. I think tomorrow’s wonder is about owls or other animals that come out at night.

    • We really like your comment today, Nasa! Thanks for sharing that you have seen the video for today’s Wonder before. We think it was a clever way to show bullying can even happen in the animal world! Those little birds were not very nice to that big bird! We really like your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder…it’s GREAT! :-)

    • Happy Friday to you, too, “Wonder!” We think it’s GREAT that your brother is graduating today…what an accomplishment! We can tell you are super proud of him. Please tell him that all of your friends in Wonderopolis are proud of him, too! :-)

  5. Wonderopolis,
    Thank you for showing a difficult subject in such a simple to understand video. A sign of true genius! Brenda B.

    • Hello, Brenda! We really appreciate your comment! Thank you for letting us know you liked the video for today’s Wonder…we hope all of our Wonder Friends have a better idea of what bullying is now and realize that you don’t have to be BIG to be a bully! :-)

    • That’s a SUPER question, Kate! We think some bullying behaviors can probably be seen in the animal kingdom, although we’re not sure there is any type of “I’m bullying you to make myself feel better” emotional feelings attached to them like with human bullies. That is really something interesting to WONDER about, though! :-)

  6. I’ve been bullied at school before. I am from Mr. Draper’s class. I think the wonder of the day will be about a full moon. Being bullied is so not cool. Have a wonderful day.

    • We agree with you, Ryan! Being bullied is NOT cool. We know it’s hard sometimes to remember that the bully is only trying to make themselves feel better. We hope you will tell Mr. Draper or another adult the next time it happens. They can help you! Thank you for being a WONDERful Wonder Friend! :-)

  7. We liked the video and thought it was funny. We didn’t know that 75% of all kids in school have been bullied. That’s way too many kids! Most of us have been bullied and we know it doesn’t feel very good. Tomorrow’s wonder might be about owls, bats, or raccoons: What are nocturnal animals? Have a super fantastic tremendous magnificent, bully-free weekend!

    • We hope EVERY Wonder Friend has a bully-free weekend, Mr. Draper’s Class! We think you guys ROCK for wishing us one! Thank you for sharing an interesting fact you learned about bullying today. You’re right…75% is WAY TOO MANY kids! We really like your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder…we think learning about owls, bats or racoons would be FUN!

      Check out this past Wonder about bats:

      Wonder #378 – Do Bats Need Maps? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/do-bats-need-maps/. :-)

  8. Oh, phooey, I got it wrong, but it is okay, it was just a guess. :( Ha ha ha, today’s video was hilarious! :) I think tomorrow’s wonder is about stars or the moon or the night sky. :) I loooooooove wonderopolis :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    Sincerly,
    Nikki
    :)

    • Look at all those smiley faces, Nikki! We are SUPER HAPPY you like learning in Wonderopolis! Thanks for sharing your guess for tomorrow’s Wonder…we think learning about the stars, the moon or the night sky would be WONDERful! Here’s a really cool past Wonder about the moon we just KNOW you will like:

      Wonder #76 – What Does the Moon Do? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-does-the-moon-do/. :-)

  9. Dear WONDEROPOLIS,

    We thoroughly enjoyed your wonder. We liked what you had to say about bullies. Bullies are not nice at all and we wish that bullies would stop and think before they hurt others.

    We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about nocturnal creatures!

    We hope you have a WONDERful weekend! :)

    • Happy Friday, Miss Thomasson’s Class! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about bullies. We agree with you! We wish bullies would think before they act, too. It would be a more WONDERful world, for sure! Thanks for wishing us a WONDERful weekend…we hope you guys all have an AMAZING weekend, too! :-)

    • That’s something really interesting to WONDER about, Mrs. Foster’s Class! We’re not sure about the answer, but now we also WONDER how the term “bully” got its start when referring to someone who’s mean to others! Thanks for visiting today’s Wonder of the Day® together and THANKS for leaving us a comment! :-)

    • Thank you for sharing that you have been bullied before, Noah. Many Wonder Friends (including some of us here in Wonderopolis) have been bullied before, too. It doesn’t feel very good. It helps us remember to be nice to others, though, and consider their feelings before we speak or act. :-)

  10. Thank you for the wonder of the day. This clip got a great conversation going in our classroom along with some giggles at the naked birds. We think that tomorrow’s wotd might be about bats, owls, moon, or raccoons. Thank you again, and have a WONDERful weekend.

    Your friends in Buffalo, Minnesota

    • We’re SUPER happy that today’s Wonder was a springboard to some WONDERful conversation in your classroom, Mrs. Ouverson’s Fourth Grade Class! Bullying is, unfortunately, something many of us have encountered at some point in our lives. Thanks for letting us know you liked the video for today’s Wonder and THANKS for being GREAT Wonder Friends! We appreciate you! :-)

  11. I loved today’s wonder, it was so funny. Have a good weekend. I will have a good weekend because my cousin is sleeping over!!!

    :)

    • Hi there, Lexi! Thanks for letting us know you liked exploring this Wonder about bullies and THANKS for wishing us a good weekend! We hope you and your cousin have lots of WONDERful fun this weekend! :-)

  12. Dear wonderopilis, I thought your wonder was great and it sent a message. My class goes on you every morning, we love you!
    You are so interesting and we love to guess about what the next wonder will be!
    Love Macdonald school’s grade 5 class.

    • It makes us super happy to hear that you and your classmates enjoy visiting Wonderopolis together and learning new things with us each day, Janaye! Thank you for letting us know you also like guessing the next day’s Wonder! We think that ROCKS! :-)

  13. Thanks for this wonder of the day! It was our last school day of the year and students really understood bullying- we had quite a deep conversation. This was a perfect way to show bullying in action without it being so obvious and blunt. My second graders loved it and so did I!

    • We’re so very happy to hear that, Mrs. Denning’s Class! We appreciate you letting us know that you guys had a GREAT discussion about bullying after you explored this Wonder together! We hope each and every one of you has a WONDERful summer…be sure to visit while you’re on break…we’ve got LOTS of AMAZING things planned! :-)

    • That’s a really good question, Haley! We think there are a few grown-ups who are bullies, too! Sometimes, even though they grow into adulthood, some people still feel the need to make themselves feel better by making others feel bad. That makes us super sad! We appreciate your comment and want to say THANK YOU for being an AWESOME Wonder Friend! :-)

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the little bird bullies in the video for this Wonder, Taylor! We appreciate your comment and hope you have a WONDERful day! :-)

  14. Most times, movies show that bullies are big, muscular boys. But in real life, they can be all different sizes, shapes, or they can be female or male.

    • You are absolutely right, Claire! You don’t have to be big to be a bully. Thank you for sharing your comment with us and THANK YOU for visiting this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

    • It’s true that some bullies are big, Jack! But, someone doesn’t have to be big in order to be a bully. Unfortunately, sometimes small bullies can use words that hurt just like big bullies do. We’re glad you stopped by this Wonder today and left us a comment! That ROCKS! :-)

  15. Hi, wonderopolis. I love your video with the birds fighting and thank you for that, because it taught me a lesson.

    • Hello, Nick! We’re glad you learned some new, interesting facts about bullying by exploring the different sections of this Wonder of the Day®! Thanks for letting us know you liked the video! :-)

    • Thanks for letting us know what you thought about this Wonder of the Day®, John! We appreciate your comment! :-)

  16. I loved the video, it was so funny. I was laughing my head off. I get bullied and cyber bullied a lot because I am very kind and extremely shy that people bully me. That is why I feel like no one cares about me sometimes.

    • You have LOTS of people who care about you, Maddie! All of your friends here in Wonderopolis think you ROCK! Thank you for sharing that you thought the video for this Wonder was funny. We hope you have an AWESOME day! :-)

  17. Good morning, Wonderopolis!

    We hope you are having a WONDERful Wonder Wednesday! We have some similes for the video, because we learned about similes from yesterday’s Wonder.

    The video was as funny as:
    Tyler – a pig wearing clothes.
    Gavin – a cow dancing.
    Abigail – a jump roping horse.
    Kara – two chickens dancing and singing.
    Jack – a goat riding a scooter.
    Colton – a squirrel riding on top of a dog.
    Grace – a cat doing the splits.
    Lauren – a cow doing a handstand.
    Rylie – a bunny rabbit going to a ball in a princess dress.
    Dawson – a bunny rabbit rapping.
    Sam – a baby doing a back flip.
    Logan – a hot dog riding a scooter.
    Gage – a baby kicking a soccer ball.

    We had lots of fun and laughs while making our similes about the video. We hope you had a good laugh, too.

    • YIPPEEE, check out all these WONDERfully imaginative similes coming from the FABULOUS students in Mrs. Phillips’ class! We are all smilies after reading your similes! :) (Hehe, we couldn’t resist the play on words)!

      Thank you for sharing all your inventive and funny similes– you are certainly doing a great job of using your imaginations, Wonder Friends! Have a SUPER day at school– we will see you soon!! :)

  18. Good morning Wonderopolis. I loved the video. I Wonder what tomorrow’s wonder will be. I hope you have a good day. From Aiden.

    • Hi there Aiden, we can’t wait to discover tomorrow’s Wonder with you!! We are super excited that you enjoyed today’s jumping Wonder– it was pretty incredible, if we do say so ourselves! Thanks for visiting– we will see you soon, Wonder Friend! :)

  19. Hi Wonderopolis, my students and I have just finished the novel, Larger Than Life Lara by Dandi Daley Mackall and it fits perfectly with Wonder #607. The students were able to make so many conections between the Pixar clip and the novel. Thank you for this amazing site. Wonder Friends from Ohio!

    • That sounds like a great novel, Mrs. Schnellbach! We are so happy that your WONDERful students are joining the fun today– and have done a great job making connections to the Wonder video! We can’t wait to Wonder with you again in O-H-I-O! :)

  20. Dear Wonderopolis. I like how you told me what the bullies look like and how they acted. I have wondered why bullies bully people it is really mean. Bullies are really mean, I have had a bully and I know how it feels and it hurts a lot! I have never been a bully and I never want to be one it’s just not right.

    • Hi Katlyn, we are glad you are WONDERing with us today! Bullies are no fun, and it’s important to remember to treat everyone you meet with respect– just the way you would like to be treated! Thanks for thinking about the importance of being kind to one another. Sometimes words hurt, but we want you to have a great time with other Wonder Friends, so being kind is important! :)

    • SUPER cool, Nate! We’re glad you’re here and that you are a new Wonder Friend– please make sure you say thanks to your teacher for us, too! See you soon, Nate! :)

    • Hi there, Wonder Friend Brittany. We are sorry to hear that you are concerned about bullies. When we are feeling uncomfortable or sad, it often helps to talk to an adult, parent or teacher you trust. It’s important to share our feelings with others, and perhaps they can help! Keep your head up, Wonder Friend! :)

  21. We learned that bullying is harmful. Bullies always cause trouble and bother those that can’t defend themselves. Bullying exist all around the world. It is not cool and there are consequences.

    • Thanks for sharing your very important comment, Echeverria’s ELD group! Bullying is no laughing matter and we need to be kind to everyone we meet. It’s much better to treat everyone with kindness and respect! We are so glad you stopped by to Wonder with us today! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Are all bullies big?
  • Is bullying a big problem?
  • How can you help stop bullying at your school?

Wonder Gallery

bullying_shutterstock_12043780Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to put an end to bullying at your school? If you said “yes,” good for you! Do you know someone who has been or is currently being bullied? If so, you can help.

Here are some ways you can help kids who may be having trouble with a bully:

  • First and foremost: make sure you let an adult know what’s going on. Whether it’s a teacher or a parent, it’s important that an adult be aware of the situation, so he or she can offer help and advice.
  • Be a good friend. Talk with the person being bullied and let him or her know you’re there to listen. Sometimes just having someone to talk to is a critical step in helping someone being hurt by a bully. Bullies are also less likely to pick on kids with friends around.
  • Take a stand against bullying. If you see someone being bullied, say something. Tell the bully to stop and help the target of the bullying to walk away.

Still Wondering

In ReadWriteThink’s A Bad Case of Bullying: Using Literature Response Groups lesson, children will learn how to effectively deal with bullying by participating in literature response groups and writing about when they experienced a similar situation.

 

Wonder Categories/Tags

Categories

Tags

bullies  bully  bullying  cyber 

Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day usually only comes out at night.

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