There is a perennial PSHE problem for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike. It’s the persistent tattles versus tells that kids love to bring you. Whether you’re juggling a lively class of 30 or refereeing multiple siblings at home, you’ll know that children relate their little tattles to you right around the clock. “Abby took my pencil… Bob tapped my shoulder… Chloe isn’t studying… Duke breathed on me.” (Some tattles really are as simple as breathing the same air when one child is grumpy with another child!)

Tattles Versus Tells; Into or Out of Trouble

We’ve gone over this topic in the past. But, I felt it was time to return to it for a refresher. When it comes to PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), resources don’t need to be complicated. Particularly, if you have very logical children who need things spelt out in black and white! With that in mind, one of the first resources we looked at recently was a very simple but engaging poster that outlines the general rules. Rephrasing it as getting someone into or out of trouble is very helpful. It encourages kids to consider the reason behind their tattle or tell. Do they want to help their friend? Or, are they trying to get someone into trouble?

Tattles Versus Tells; Sorting Scenarios

To keep things fun and light-hearted, we used a worksheet aimed at younger students to start talking about deciding if something is a tattle or a tell. The comforting language and cartoon graphics take the edge off a serious topic. After all, if you’re sitting down to teach (or revisit) why too much tattling is not ideal then at least one child has probably been tattling recently! I’m sure you don’t want to encourage finger-pointing so keeping things cheerful is a good idea.

Tattles Versus Tells worksheet.

One of my little rebels used orange instead of red!

Finally, we used a sorting worksheet to consider lots of different scenarios that might lead to tattles or valid tells. A tattle is anything trivial or solvable by the child themselves. Whereas a valid tell is something that must be reported immediately as a matter of safety. It took a bit of effort but we got through it with minimal disagreement. (Apparently, if there isn’t someone at the top of a slide then climbing up the slide cannot be dangerous! A small concession was eventually granted. Someone could quickly climb the slide’s ladder while you aren’t looking. And so on, in microscopic detail.)

Tattles Versus Tells sorting worksheet.

Cut-and-paste sorting worksheet. Good for fine motor practice as well as differentiating tattles from tells!

Tattles Versus Tells Resource Round-Up

  • Tattling Versus Reporting poster by Lindsay Flood (G1-5; Y2-6)
  • Tattling Versus Reporting worksheet packet by Curriculum Castle (K-G2; Y1-3)
  • Tattling Versus Reporting sorting worksheet by A Kinderteacher Life (PreK-G2; YR-3)

Do you have any favourite resources on this topic? I hope this gives you some fun ideas for dealing those tricky tattles versus tells situations!