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Theme - Friendship Theme

Compiled By: shazam

Here is a collection of activities for teaching students about friendship and encouraging a friendly environmen in your classroom.

Posted by: Lou

Read HOW TO LOSE ALL YOUR FRIENDS. I can't remember the author off the top of my head, but it is great! Then have girls write their own books or make a poster called HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS.

I often use this quote with my girls: "To make a friend, be a friend. To keep a friend, be a friend." We discuss what it means and how to do it.

Another thing I do with all the 5th grade girls in our school (2 classrooms) is have a POWWOW time twice a month. The other teacher takes all the boys and spends some time with them while I spend time with the girls addressing various aspects of friendship. We begin talking about any POWS that have happened (without using names), and then we talk about the WOWS of friendship. Then I pick a friendship topic and talk about it with the girls (i.e. making friends, popularity, best friends, bullies, keeping friends, etc.) We end every POWWOW time with a suggestion to improve our community of girls, such as invite a person over whom you've never had over before, or give out at least 5 sincere compliments to other girls each day. The girls love having the time to talk, and I truly think it helps them have more awareness of each other's feelings when we spend time addressing it.

Hope things go better for you!

Friendship themed bulletin board
Posted by: Sydney Gal

You could get your students to cut out their hands on coloured paper andthen you could link the hands somehow and place them around a globe or a heart with the title the hands of friendship.

Another alternative is to have a "friendship garden' and have photos of each class member as flowers blooming in your garden.

And last but not least, you could also have each one your students write a letter to someone in the class and place these on the bulletin board with large pencils created from coloured contruction paper placed near the written letters. On the pencils you could have the students names / photos. I use this alot as it incorporates both teacher and student effort!!!

Making Glyphs
Posted by: Marci

A glyph is a way to convey personal information about yourself or a friend through a picture. Then the children use a legend to find out about the other person. For example, one of my favorites is a glyph called, "Face It, We're Cute! The children create a face about themselves. The features on the face are determined by personal characteristics. (Hair color--Blue if birthday is in Jan., Feb., March or April. Red if birthday is in May, June, July or August) Eye color--Black "I like reading the most, Blue-- I like math the most)... Nose is a shape determined by the type of house the child lives in.

This turns out to be a face of facts of the child that created it. The students then write 3 clues about themselves on a notecare (clue card and the other children use a legend to decide which face belongs to each child. It is really fun! You can probably find a glyph book at your local book store.

friendship BB
Posted by: ddd

Hi Vicki!
In my 4th grade classroom, we will be making a bulletin board called "Recipe for Friendship". I have a big picture of a chef stirring something in a bowl that goes in the middle. Then I have the kids use white crayons to write a message on a big white construction paper heart. The message is a quality of a good friend (kind, thoughtful, a good listener, keeps my secrets, etc.), and we brainstorm these ideas ahead of time. AFter the kids write their messages, they use their watercolors to paint their hearts. Of course, the white really shows up once they are painted. They are hung on the board around the chef. It's really cute, and real simple! Hope this helps!

Posted by: Barb

I am trying to remember just what the third grade tacher and I did several years ago...I know that we adopted another 3rd grade class in another school in another part of the state, wrote letters and then sent a video letter back and forth. We also had a "friendship tree" (a pretty tree branch put in some cement in a coffe can) and decorated it with some flowers and birds etc that we colored. This is the one thing I can't remember. You might try "random acts of kindess" RAOK. Our 4th grade is doing that in the high school right now. They have designed a card and put a saying on it and then handed them out as the high school students go between classes. It is interesting to see their reaction. They are also going to do the faculty some day. Hope this helps. Good luck. If I can help further let me know.

Friendship idea
Posted by: M.T.

This would work (it was done as a self esteem lesson in my S.S. methods class). Each student gets a card stock paper taped to their back. They then walk around the room and each person in the class has to say one positive thing about that person (or in this case why they are a good friend). They write it on the person's back. When they are done they have a whole list of things that make them great friends :o)

Character counts: other great read-aloud books and bulletin boards...
Posted by: Schoolbox

My favorites are "The Giving Tree" (Shel Silverstein), "The Rainbow Fish" (Marcus Pfister--sp.) and "Andrew's Angry Words." These books can help serve as springboards for discussions of desirable character traits such as kindness, generosity, and friendship.

Here are suggested learning/bulletin board activities to follow the first two books. The Giving Tree: Create a classroom's "giving tree" with butcher paper and pass out leaves for student to write what they can "give" to the class (tangible and intangible things such as helping friends in need, sharing supplies, being a good friend...). Glue the leaves onto the tree and headline it "The Tree of Friendship." The Rainbow Fish--Perhaps after the children get to know each other a little bit better: Make a large fish out and many colorful "scales" with construction paper. Make enough smaller white scales for each chich. Scales should be large enough to for students to write a sentence. Have students pick out a another student's name randomly from a jar/index cards and then write kind and encouraging words (or best attribute) about that student. Glue student work/white scales on top of the colorful scales. Glue the colorful scales to the fish. Decorate it with some silver/aluminum foil scales and plastic wiggle eye.

Posted by: Lisa

Here is an idea that I did with kindergarten and they loved it!
SIt the group in a circle on the floor. Roll a large ball of yarn to one student and state a good quality about that student, then that student rolls the yarn to another; continuing until everybody has a a chance. (The yarn will be mixed up and tangled in between all the students.) This teaches the students to recognize good qualities in people that are their friends. Talk about qualities you want in friends. Plus, they love to untangle the yarn at the end!! Hope this is of some help to you

Friendship Recipe
Posted by: AmberM

I have my first graders write a "recipe" for friendship. We add cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, and pinches of the things that make a good friend. (trust, honesty, helpfulness, laughter etc.) They finish by saying how they are going to blend it or mix it to make their frienship last forever.

You didn't say what grade you teach but I bet it could be adapted for just about any level!

Friendship Book
Posted by: Lydia Gold

Try The Friendship Train By Slawski. It is excellent and pictures are beautiful. It is about a man who is waiting for at a station and no one comes to meet him. He goes to different stops and meetsstrangers along the way that are also looking for someone to meet. As their party grows they become friends. Promotes a good discussion for what you have to do to become a friend and what makes a good friend. Good luck.

Posted by: Sue W.

I used a "Friendship Web" with second graders and think 1st graders could do it too. It could be used as a getting-to-know-you activity. Have the kids seated in a circle on the floor. Have a ball of yarn. Hold on to the loose end of yarn and toss the ball to a child somewhere in the circle. Saying the child's name. "Hello, Vanessa, welcome to our first grade friendship circle!" Vanessa holds on to the yarn with one hand and tosses the ball of yarn to another child as she repeats the greeting, using that child's name. Set up the rules before-hand. The yarn must go to someone who has not had it yet and the last child tosses it back to you, saying your name. Each person has to keep a hold on the yarn with one hand, holding it down to the floor, while tossing with the other hand. All the while a "web" design is forming on the floor. When every one has had a turn, have the kids each hold their yarn in one hand and all stand up. The web rises with them. You may get a few oohs and awws. "Just like a web, our classroom is special because we can all be friends, working together." If you have time and boredom hasn't set in you could go back and take apart the web saying the names again. My kids liked it well enough to ask to do it again,later in the year, so we did, using a compliment for each other as the message shared.

Posted by: Lori

Here are two activities we use, I think they are great to start a unit on this.
1. The Crinkle kid: Choose a picture from a magazine of a chil (Try to find a full page one) Sit on the rug and tellt he children you want them to say something not too ncie to the girl or boy. Each time they do, crinkle the picture. Keep going until she is crinkeled in a ball. Then have them begin to say nice things to her, and smooth out the paper as you go. Once the paper is smooth ask the children what they notice. (The picture is smooth but not back to the way it was) The lesson is that once you say something mean you really can't take it back. We hang the crinkle kid above our door as a reminder.

2. Along the smae lines we do a toothpaste thing. The class takes turn coming up to the front, they say something not too nice and squirt some toothpaste out. After it is out I say now let's be nice and take those mean things back, and let them try to put the paste back in. Pretty effective.

Friendship Themed Books
Posted by: Lori

Annie, I am glad to share my lists. I will have to add them as I get a chance, but here are some ideas for friendship.

Frog and Toad Books by Arnold Lobel -- AR reading levels in the 2.0 - 3.0 range

Henry and Mudge Books by Cynthia Rylant -- AR reading levels in the 2.0 - 3.0 range

George and Martha series picture books by James Marshall -- AR levels in the 2.0 -3.0 range

What a Trip, Amber Brown by Paula Danziger -- AR 2.6

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson -- picture book -- AR 2.7

It's Justin Time, Amber Brown by Paula Danziger -- AR 2.8

Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston -- picture book -- AR 3.0

Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco -- picture book -- AR 3.1

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles -- picture book-- AR 3.2

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox -- picture book -- AR 3.2

Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume -- AR reading level 3.5

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell -- AR 3.5

Amber Brown is Not a Crayon by Paula Danziger -- AR 3.7

Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco -- picture book -- AR 3.7
The Pinballs by Betsy Byars -- AR 3.8

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco -- AR 3.8 -- picture book -- more mature theme with the lower reading level, however

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman -- AR Reading Level 3.9

The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo -- AR 4.0

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Lovelace -- AR 4.0

A Taste of Blackberries by Doris Smith -- AR 4.0

Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury -- AR 4.0

The Friendship by Mildred Taylor -- AR 4.1

The Hot and Cold Summer by Joanna Hurwitz -- AR 4.2

Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Lovelace -- AR 4.2

Yellow Blue Jay by Joanna Hurwitz -- AR 4.2

The Cybil War by Betsy Byars -- AR 4.2

Betsy and Tacy go Over the Big Hill by Maud Lovelace -- AR 4.3

Graveyard Girl by Anna Myers -- AR 4.3

The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine -- AR 4.4

Thank You, Jackie Robinson by Barbara Cohen -- AR 4.4

Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown by Maud Lovelace -- AR 4.5

P.S. Longer Letter Later by Paula Danziger -- AR 4.5

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Hold -- AR 4.5

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry -- AR 4.5

Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth by Konigsburg -- AR 4.5 -- be aware has "witches'

All the Way Home by Patricia Reilly Giff -- AR 4.5

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh -- AR 4.5

Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff -- AR 4.6

How to Fight a Girl by Thomas Rockwell -- AR 4.6

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson -- AR 4.6

Holes by Louis Sachar -- AR 4.6 -- although I think its more mature

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli -- AR 4.7

Spring Break by Johanna Hurwitz --AR 4.7

Love From Your Friend, Hannah by Mindy Skolsky -- AR 4.8

Ellen Tebbits by Beverly Cleary -- AR 4.9

Words of Stone by Kevin Henkes -- AR 5.0

Snail Mail No More by Paula Danziger -- AR 5.1

Summer Soldiers by Susan Lundquist -- AR 5.2

Treasures in the Dust by Tracy Porter -- AR 5.3

The Hundred Dresses by Estes -- AR 5.4

The View From Saturday by Konigsburg -- AR 5.9

Friendship Snack Mix
Posted by: Elaine

When I was student teaching, my cooperating teacher and I wrote a Friendship Unit and the activity that always sticks in my mind was the snack mix we made. A note was sent home explaining our friendship unit including a list of ingredients -- M & M's, banana chips, raisens, pretzels, etc. Students were to choose one item to bring and share when making the Friendship Snack Mix. It was sort of on the same principle as STONE SOUP. When everyone pitched in his or her ingredient the mix got better and better. We used measuring cups to measure before adding ingredients so we integrated some math. Afterwards, of course, we were all able to share the mix. It was fun and yummy and lasted quite a long time in Tupperware bowl!!!!!!!!! Now that I think of it, you could read the book Stone Soup while you are eating your very own shared recipe.
Have fun!