This lesson plan for teachers of primary students aged 9 to 10 years old at level A2 explores the theme of bullying. Students will make an anti-bullying poster and give a presentation of the story.

This is a series of activities and related worksheets for you to download and use with the storybook Is it because? It forms part of the Promoting diversity through children’s literature series, produced by the British Council Teaching Centre in Paris.

Age group

9-10 years old



About the story
Is it because? skilfully addresses the issue of bullying. It tells an objective story that succeeds in engaging sympathy for both the bully’s victim and the bully himself. The story is structured around the question 'Is it because?' and told in rhyme. 'Is it because he’s got silly names? Is it because he’s no good at games?' A small boy asks his pet dog why a bully is picking on him. After many 'Is it because?' questions, the little boy comes to the conclusion that Peregrine Ffrogg is unhappy, has no friends and is jealous of him. 'Is it because he’d rather be me!' The questions he asks make him think and lead him to a greater understanding of himself and of the bully. Is it because the bully is a victim, too?

Language areas

  • Personal descriptions
  • Abilities
  • Cause and effect, problems and solutions
  • Friendship
  • Similes 

Diversity themes

  • Becoming aware of similarities and differences
  • Understanding the behaviour of a bully and the reasons for bullying
  • Valuing friendship 

Main outcomes

  • Giving a presentation of the story
  • Singing a Friendship song
  • Making a friendship tree and display
  • Making an anti-bullying poster and display

Is it because? Tony Ross, Andersen Press
ISBN 1-84270-296-3
Story notes by Gail Ellis and piloted by Julia Diallo 

The materials form part of the Promoting diversity through children’s literature series, produced by the British Council Teaching Centre in Paris. You can download materials for five sessions of around three hours each. The materials include:

  • A sequence of activities - a plan for you to follow
  • Worksheets - for you to print and use with your learners


I must say it's great article, really helpfull! Thanks for downloading material, it can be helpfull to me too.

I have just discovered this website and found it fantastic so far.
Specifically, because I was trying to figure out an ending, let us say, for my lesson plan about bullying when I read the lesson plans for this Is it because? unit and just got it!
Taking advantage of the opportunity, since I am not an English native-speaker, I am looking for pen-pals so that we can have a long distance friendship for me to practice my English.

Thank you for the link to the mateirals, this is going to be very helpful for my planning.

I teach English at a very difficult school in argentina, and I was looking for some interesting material for my kids. They live in very poor conditions and in a extreme violent neighbourhood. Stories like this one will help them a lot! I'm really happy, thanks a lot!

Hi Wajida,

The materials (lesson plans and worksheets) are available above as a zip file. Here is the link.

Best wishes,


TeachingEnglish Team

Hi ELLEN?Thank u indeed for ur kind reply.I saw the zip file but have a pb downloading it.. Why not a PDF or a microsoft office word document.. Easier and much more practical. Best wishes, Wajida


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