"Making Friends One Day at a Time" Theme & Student Book
I like to start each school year with a Making Friends One Day at a Time friendship theme.
Many children come to school with few group experiences and reviewing and teaching kids the basics of making friends can help them on their way.
Each day we read a book, talk about the friendship concept, sing a song or play a game and complete one page of the student book.
Don't be discouraged if you feel like you are repeating the same concepts over and over throughout the year.
Children's abilities to make and keep friends will improve as they mature and become less egocentric.
Start with a class book
Make a class book and read it everyday to help children get familiar with all the children's names. Don't forget to add yourself.
- Make a class book called “These are my new friends”.
- Give each child a 12 x 18 inch piece of paper with the words ______ is a new friend, printed on the bottom.
- Each child makes one page, drawing themselves and taping in a photo, as well as completing the frame sentence by adding their name.
- If the children's printing is unrecognizable, the teacher prints it underneath.
- Keep a mirror nearby (not glass) so children can check what color eyes and hair they have.
- Staple the pages and read as a group, letting children who want to say their sentence after you.
- Read the book everyday for a while to help children learn classmates names. This will help them with making friends.s
Making Friends One Day at a Time student books & activities
Day 1 - LEARNING NAMES & BOOK COVER
Talk: Keep it Positive
Foster a positive atmosphere concerning making friends by stating that we are all friends and that we are all learning how to be better friends. I avoid talking about or reading books about best friends as it tends to exclude children.
Game: Learn Names Ball Game
Children sit in a circle, the child with the ball rolls it to the child the whose name the teacher calls.
Read: Making Friends by Fred Rodgers
Activity:Student Book Cover
Show children a finished book cover and how it is made of puzzle pieces. Read what each puzzle piece says. Demonstrate making a cover, starting with gluing the head near the top to make sure the completed person will fit on the page. Show how the two arms are different. Make a face and add hair. Have each child make their own book cover.
Day 2 - THIS IS ONE OF MY NEW FRIENDS...
Read: The Very Lonely Firefly
The Very Lonely Firefly is a delightful story by Eric Carle about belonging. Share with the children how we all want to belong to a group of friends and that is why it is important to learn to be kind and polite to each other.
Sing: If You're Friendly and You Know It...
Tune - "If you're happy and you know it"
If you're friendly and you know it, clap your hands. 2x
If you're friendly and you know it, and you really want to show it,
If you're friendly and you know it, clap your hands! (Friends can take turns changing actions for more fun.)
Activity: Student Book, "This is one of my new friends".
Put the children in groups of two if possible. Have them sit together and complete the page, "This is one of my new friends", by using the new friend tracer and printing each other's name in their books.
Complete the next page, "These children are my new friends", by gluing two separate lists on the page. These are the boys... , These are the girls..
Day 3 - SOMETIMES FRIENDS VISIT AT MY HOUSE...
Read: The Rainbow Fishby Mary Ann Stewart
The message of this book is to help others and spread happiness rather than selfishness.
Talk: Having Friends to Visit
Give children a chance to share what they can do to make a friend happy when the friend visits at their house.
Sing: The More We Get Together by Raffi
The more we get together, Together, together,
The more we get together, The happier we'll be.
For your friends are my friends, And my friends are your friends.
The more we get together, The happier we'll be.
Activity: Friends visit at my house. I live at…
Children use the house tracer to cut out and glue a house on their page, then draw themselves and a friend in the picture. Children glue their address on their page.
Day 5 - FRIENDS HELP EACH OTHER. I CAN HELP...
Read: Cherries and Cherry Pitsby Vera B. Williams
A beautifully illustrated book about sharing.
Talk: Friends help each other
Ask children to tell you stories about when they helped a friend to get a job finished. Prompt them with suggestions like cleaning a room or cleaning up centers.
Game: Copycat with Pattern Blocks
This game assumes the children have had some teaching of repeat patterns. AABB AABB
Pair children up with a child they do not know to help them play with new children. Tell them to share their names first then work together to make patterns. Give each 2 kids a thin strip of lightweight card about 15 inches long and 2 colors of pattern blocks.
How to play: Demonstrate first. This kindergarten pattern activity starts with one child making a repeating pattern until half the strip of card is covered, then the second child finishes it. Children trade places and the other takes a turn creating the repeat pattern and the first child finishes it.
Activity: Friends help each together …
Set up 2 trays of different colored paint near the sink. The student and a friend print their name in each other’s book to complete the sentence. Student and the friend place one hand in a different color of paint and then press a handprint on their own page and their friend's page.
Friendship Theme Pages:
6 Ways to help kids with friendships
Making Friends Student book Part One and activities
Kids Making Friends Student book Part Two and activities
More Friendship Theme ideas
Social skills readiness tips for parents
To get a FREE printable copy of the, "MAKING NEW FRIENDS ONE DAY AT A TIME", student book pages, sign up for the kindergarten-lessons.com newsletter above and request a copy and I will send it to you. Instructions on each page.