A friendship theme offers many opportunities to learn math and language arts concepts.
Other friendship theme activities to help children gain a sense of belonging are - choose a class mascot, make class hats that are similar in shape and color and sing silly friendship songs such as "5 Little Friends Jumping on the Bed" (change words of 5 little monkeys).
Friendship theme math activities
Hand print patterns
- Have two kids stand on either side of a narrow table with a long sheet of paper between them (cut 12 x 18 inch pieces of paper in half to make 6 x 18 inch strips)
- Give each child a different color liquid paint in a shallow meat foam tray
- Show children how to dip one hand in paint and then wipe off the excess
- Children take turns stamping hands to create a repeat pattern
- Both children print their names on the paper
Getting to know you counting...
- Children sit in a circle
- Teacher says an attribute, friends with baby sisters, friends with baby brothers, friends with dogs, friends with cats...
- The children who fit the criteria raise their hands
- Children take turns counting by walking around and touching each hand
- Tip!! Keep a deck of cards in an elastic with all students' names. Choose the top name for each child's turn and then put it on the bottom of the pile. Continue choosing from the top for the next activity of the day. This way, although the activities may change, all children get the same amount of turns.
Make a "Sticky Notes Name Graph"
Although this takes lots of sticky notes the children become more aware of how their name is composed of letters and have an opportunity to count each letter.
The graph can also be used for language arts activities (see below).
- chart paper
- small size sticky notes in 2 colors
- felt markers
- strips of card to tape the notes onto
- take a strip of card and some sticky notes
- print one letter of their name on each sticky note
- arrange the letters on their strip of card
- add one of the second color sticky note
- count how many letters and record the number on the second color sticky note
- add their name card to the chart paper
- Ask- how many names all together, how many numbers all together, how many boys' names, how many girls' names, are there fewer (or more) names with 7 letters, 5 letters etc.
Secure the sticky notes to the cards so they can be rearranged for other activities without the notes dropping off.
Teach names with a birthday graph
Make a birthday graph like this one from Amazon.com and count how many birthdays in each month, count how many birthday cakes all together, vocabulary - months of the year, more, fewer
- Make tally graphs of favorite colors or cereals...
- Make an quick eye chart on graph paper. Pair students with a new friend and have them print their friend's name under the color of eyes that their friend has. Use preprinted name cards if necessary.
Friendship theme language arts activities
Use the name graph above to teach letters and letter sounds
- Rearrange the children's names by beginning sounds
- Count how many begin with an A or B, etc.
- Show the children a letter and have a few children a day try to find the letter in the chart using a pointer
- Leave the graph where children can see it to copy names in their "Making Friends One Day at a Time" student books.
- If a student's printing is unrecognizable, help him/her shape the letters so the other children can copy it.
Practice rhyming with "Willaby Wallaby Wee"
Play "Willaby Wallaby Wee" to find rhyming words that start with the letter "w" as you point to the names on the chart.
Willaby Willaby, wallaby woo........................an elephant sat on you
Willaby, wallaby wee.........................an elephant sat on me
Willaby, wallaby wamy...................an elephant sat on Amy
Willaby, Wallaby wadison...............an elephant sat on Madison
Friendship theme art activities
- Put a large piece of plain chart paper on the table with the heading, "Our friendship collage"
- Draw two simple friend shapes on the chart
- Put a box of collage or imagination station scraps on the table
- Children take turns choosing five items and gluing them onto the friends