Tattling or Telling

Definition: tattling- getting someone into trouble.
Definition:  telling- informing, making known, speaking up.
Do your students know the difference between tattling and telling?
Reporting a bullying situation is not getting someone into trouble instead the bully’s own behavior gets him\her into trouble. Most bullies tend to intimidate those who are aware of their inappropriate behavior and they try to reverse their responsibility by blaming someone else by calling them a tattle tale. This is why students need to be taught when and under what circumstances they are to report bullying actions but they also need to understand and differentiate between tattling and telling.


  • Attached PDF on fictional scenarios
  • Print off and have a class discussion emphasizing the differences on what is tattling and what is telling.
  • Children tattle when they want to —
  • get someone in trouble
  • get attention
  • have a teacher or parent solve their problem
  • Children are telling when they —
  • want security for themselves or someone else
  • want safeguards for theirs or someone else’s property
  • are frightened
  • are in danger

Scroll to Top