Don’t Stay Under The Couch

Starbuck and the Bully

Curriculum Guide


This is the glamor shot and introduction to the Starbuck character. They usually all go awwwwww at this point.

Here were insert a mystery and a complexity to the story as they wonder what an under-the-couch dog might be.

Here we get kids thinking about what reasons Starbuck might have for being under the couch.

This establishes that one individual can be suffering while everyone else is going on about their lives as usual.

Here we introduce Hector as the bully character.

Here we introduce the idea that bullying is repeated behavior. You can ask questions and reinforce this concept.

Here we prompt the thinking that bullying isn’t about physical power but the way people use social power to victimize others.

This slide elicits laughter but demonstrates the idea of the henchmen or people who assist the bully in attacking the victim.

This page allows kids to enter the story. They are the dog that wants to help and we are going to forgive them for not helping up till now.

Here we acknowledge the fear involved in intervening in the in bullying behavior.

Here we let kids share their individual ideas about the risks involved in intervening in bullying situations.

Here we return to the affects of bullying on our now established Starbuck character.

Here we try to get kids to think about how being bullied might impact a person’s ability to learn.

Here we take kids inside Starbuck’s brain to explore the cognitive side effects of bullying.

He we show kids the survival area or Starbuck’s brain, demonstrating the different functions or different neural regions.

Here we help kids understand that an individual who’s being bullied would really struggle to learn.

Here we ask the kids the question directly to drive the point home.

Here we attempt to get kids to connect being bullied with the loss of the opportunity to learn.

Here we let kids own the answer to the question on the previous page.

Here we highlight Hector’s indifference to the pain he’s causing Starbuck, hoping to inspire kids to want to be the opposite of Hector.

Here we use empathy to further persuade kids to consider the plight of the bully’s victim.

Here we establish the idea that bullies gain power over their victims through repeated us of social aggression and threat.

Here we show that physical size and power is not always a factor in bullying.

Here we’re illustrating how self esteem and self concept shrinks with repeated bullying.

Here we’re trying to get kids to think about why bullying makes the victim feel insignificant.

Here we’re making the comparison between the kids that are in the “in” crowd...

...and those who don’t have access to “popular” culture. We want them to empathize with kids who are excluded.

Here we ask kids to make a stand and support Starbuck and by extention, victims of bullying.

The message is that it is not always easy or convenient to befriend others. We’re planting the seeds of acceptance of “different” people.

Here we share the story of a bulling victim getting away from the situation.

Here we have kids anticipating the possible effects that will travel with Starbuck as he makes his escape.

Here we’re showing that the damage that bullies do can be long lasting.

Here we are having them guess how long the emotional damage can last.

This is the crucial page where we flip the narrative from the abstract world of “dog” behavior to the real world reality of child society.

Here we offer a sharp contrast and a choice.

Kids say NOOOO! here.

Here we introduce the four part bully intervention approach.

Here we tell kids that actions mean more than physical size and that anyone can intervene to help the victim.

Here set up the construct on which we’ll pin our four part strategy.

Here we suggest that offering friendship to the victim protects them from the isolation that gives the bully power over them.

Here we suggest that educating others on why we shouldn’t bully will help take away bully’s potential henchmen.

Here we tell kids that it is important to tell an adult if we see bullying or are bullied.

Here we encourage kids to reach out and befriend isolated kids who might become the victims of bullies or bullying behavior.

Here we encourage kids to use the HERO strategies and be a hero.

Here we bring Starbuck back to cement the narrative.

Here you can let kids ask questions  about anything in the story.