“What’s the Recipe for Friends?” by Greg Williamson
What goes into a recipe for friendship? In this lesson, Ms. Shaw reads a story about a boy who moves to a new town and learns about all the special ingredients that go into making a sweet friendship—things like kindness, sharing, taking turns, and more. Ms. Shaw encourages students to think about what other qualities are important in friendships by writing their own friendship recipes!
“Making New Friends” by Vita Jiménez
In this lesson, Ms. Shaw is joined by Kitty to talk about things we can say and do when we want to make a new friend. In the song, “Making New Friends,” students learn that when you see someone you’d like to get to know, there are four things you can do: walk up to them, say “hi”, introduce yourself, and start a conversation! Ms. Shaw and Kitty talk about and demonstrate what goes into a good conversation; including, taking turns talking, asking questions about the other person, and showing you’re listening by looking at the speaker.
“We Can Be Friends” by Vita Jiménez
“I may not look the way you do, but I can still be friends with you. I like to feel like I belong. I’m sure that we can get along!“
That is the chorus from the song, “We Can Be Friends,” which Ms. Shaw uses in this lesson to talk about diversity and friendships. After listening to and talking about the message of the song, Ms. Shaw shows students Matt Lamothe’s book, “This Is How We Do It,” which follows the lives of seven real children from all over their world, illustrating differences between their lives as well as the common experiences that unite them. By the end of the lesson, students see that while may all look and act differently and come from different places, we all want to feel the sense of belonging we get from friendships!
“Cake & I Scream! …Being Bossy Isn’t Sweet” by Michael Genhart
Helping children understand the difference between being bossy and assertive is a very helpful friendship skill. In the story, “Cake & I Scream!,” students see how Ice Cream’s bossy behavior damages her friendships. Ms. Shaw teaches students about two styles of communication: “bossing” and “suggesting”. Bossing communication involves making demands and might include statements like, “Me first!” or “That’s not how you do it!” In contrast, suggesting communication involves offering an idea and might include statements such as, “I’d like the red marker next” or “I’m used to different rules. Let’s decide the rules together”. Ms. Shaw helps students practice changing “bossing language” to more friendly “suggesting language”.
“Teach Your Dragon to Make Friends” by Steve Herman
In this lesson, Ms. Shaw reads the story “Teach Your Dragon to Make Friends” to talk with students about things we should do and not do to make friends. The lesson also includes a friendship arts and crafts activity called “PALS” to help students remember four things they can to do make and keep their friends: Play together, Accept one another, Let things go, and Speak kindly. Ms. Shaw gives examples of how students can practice each of these and encourages them to consider what they can do to be a pal to others!
“Duck! Rabbit!” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Have you ever had a disagreement with a friend? Maybe you had different ideas about what game to play or what movie to watch? It’s okay to disagree and have different ideas from our friends! In this lesson, Ms. Shaw talks about “perspective taking,” which means being a flexible thinker to try to understand another person’s idea or opinion. When we try to understand our friend’s perspective, it shows that we’re open and kind and helps us with our friendships!
“The Peace Rose” by Alicia Olson
In this lesson, Ms. Shaw reads “The Peace Rose” to teach students a simple problem-solving strategy that they can use to independently and peacefully solve social problems with peers. The strategy is called “Talk it Out” and it involves three key parts: first you tell the person how you feel, next you say what’s making you feel that way, and finally you make a request for what you would like to happen differently. For example, a student might say, “I feel sad when you say I can’t play with you. Could you please include me?” This is a super strategy that is easy for younger kids to remember. Download a poster of the Talk it Out strategy here.