Beacon Lesson Plan Library

To Tell or Not to Tell

Christine Davis
Bay District Schools


By filling out an application, students receive a license to tattle. When completing the application, the student will identify the problem, decide if he or she can solve it on his or her own, and write three nice things about the person that he or she wants to tattle on.


The student knows various ways in which to resolve conflict using positive behavior.

The student writes informal texts (for example, journal entries, reading response).


-Worksheet “Tattle Tale License Application” from the attached file
-Worksheet “Tattle Tale License” from the attached file
-Teacher-made transparency from the worksheet “Tattle Tale License Application
-Construction paper for tattle "tails"
-Overhead projector
-Overhead projector marker
-Bulletin board


1. Download worksheet “Tattle Tale License Application” from the attached file. Duplicate this worksheet for each student. Place in an area that the students can get them when needed.
2. Download worksheet “Tattle Tale License” from the attached file. Duplicate this worksheet for each student.
3. Make a transparency of the worksheet "Tattle Tale License Application."
4. Locate an overhead projector and marker.
5. Cut out Tattle Tale Licenses and glue on construction paper. Have these available for when the students bring back in their applications.
6. Cut out a paper tail from construction paper for each child, making sure that it is big enough on which to write. The tail may be any animal's tail.


1. Get the students' attention by tattling to them about another teacher in the school. (Class, guess what? Mrs. Davis took one of my books.)

2. Ask the class if what the teacher did was dangerous (was the teacher hurt, sick, bleeding, dead, etc.)? Ask the class if they really needed to know about what the other teacher did. Ask the class if they know what you just did was called tattling.

3. As a class, come up with a definition of tattling. (Something that the teacher doesn’t need to know.) Have students give examples of tattling. Provide praise and corrective feedback as necessary.

4. Explain to the students that there are proper times to tell the teacher about what a friend is doing (Jack is hitting me), and there are times that they can solve the problem themselves (Jack, please give me my pencil back). Ask students what are some things that they should tell the teacher (hitting, somebody getting sick, etc.).

5. Explain to the students the only way they can tell you something about what somebody in the class is doing is if they have a “Tattle Tale” license. Show the class the transparency of the Tattle Tale license application. Go over how to fill out the application with the class. Explain to the students that they may get an application whenever they feel they need one, but that they must fill it out at home. There is a place on the application that requires one of their parents’ (grandma, uncle, aunt, guardian) signatures. When they bring the application back in, they will get a Tattle Tale license and can then tell you what that person was doing.

6. Pass out a paper tail to each student. Have the student write an example of tattling (Mrs. Davis is reading her book, and you told her to put it up) on the tail.

7. Let the students read their tattle tale to the class when they are finished. Give corrective feedback and praise as necessary.


Formatively assess students’ knowledge about resolving conflict using positive behavior during the discussion about tattling. Formatively assess students' examples of tattling when they read their "tattle tales." The written tattle tale is evidence of writing informal text. NOTE: The students’ completed, signed application will show evidence of parental involvement if documentation is needed for Reading Frameworks. In teaching the reading frameworks, there is a section that is called Literacy Links. This includes parental involvement. Completing the Tattle Tale License will involve parents.


The teacher can use the written "tattle tale" tails to make a bulletin board.
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