teaching resource

Tattling vs. Telling Poster

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 1 page | Grades: 1 - 4

Teach your students the difference between “tattling” and “telling” with this classroom display poster.

Unnecessary Tattling… The Bane of Every Teacher’s Existence!

Jessica took my pencil without asking!

Tommy knocked me!

Elijah is sitting where I want to sit!

Let’s face it… Kids love to share their problems with anyone who lends a sympathetic ear. However, teachers all around the world will tell you that there is such a thing as oversharing! We must teach our students from an early age that there is a difference between the problems they can solve themselves and those they need help with. This, in essence, is the difference between tattling and telling.

What Is Tattling?

The point of tattling is to get someone in trouble. Our students should be taught to keep the information to themselves if:

  • They are trying to get someone in trouble
  • The thing that happened was an accident
  • No harm was caused to anyone or anything
  • They can deal with the issue on their own
  • What happened is a small problem

What Is Telling?

The point of telling is to get help. Our students should be taught to share the information with an adult if:

  • They are trying to help someone
  • The thing that happened was done on purpose
  • Someone or something was harmed or in danger
  • They need to help of an adult
  • What happened is a big problem

Reduce Tattling with This Classroom Display Poster

This classroom display poster has been developed by an experienced team of educators to assist you with your classroom management.

Print and display this poster in your classroom to remind your students about the difference between tattling and telling. The resource downloads as both a PDF and a Google Slide – simply select your preferred file choice from the dropdown menu next to the Download button. 

BLOG: How to Stop Tattling in the Classroom


This resource was created by Jennifer Hall, a teacher in North Carolina and a Teach Starter collaborator.

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