To Have Good Friends . . .

. . . you must be a good friend.

If this isn’t the lesson of the first 6 weeks I don’t know what is!
All of the grades seem to be struggling with “bullying” on the recess field and using unkind words with each other.

To extend upon the bullying lesson I did earlier in 3rd grade, I made a lesson to help them understand how unkind words make others feel and how judging someone too quickly can be hurtful, as well.

To Be Good Friends

Topics Covered: Respect, Responsibility, Communication Skills, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Anti-Victimization

The lesson started off very similarly to the second grade Enemy Pie lesson.

After the story we discussed why Jeremy was on the little boy’s enemy list and why dad suggested making the pie.

Next, we talked about how Jeremy would have felt if he knew all the things the little boy was saying about him.

I asked the boys to return to their seats. I passed out a blank sheet of paper. The boys were asked to imagine their best friend and to think of the qualities that friend had. Were they kind to others? Did they like to play the same games? Were they well behaved in class? etc . . .

The boys wrote these qualities down on the paper. We only had time for them to write about 5 and then they returned to the carpet.

* I was only able to do this part of the lesson with one of the groups, because as teaching goes, I learned from a few mistakes my first go around. *

At the carpet, I had the boys imagine unkind things that were happening to their friend.

– Pretend you saw your friend get pushed down on the playground, but you didn’t do anything.

– You heard someone saying something mean or unkind about your friend.

etc . . .

Each time I gave an unkind scenario, the boys crumpled their piece of paper until it was in a tight ball.

At that point, I asked the boys to very carefully help their friend get straightened and smoothed out.

Once the paper was as flat as they could make it, I asked what they noticed about their friend, the paper.

They realized that the paper was wrinkled, dirty, and scarred. No matter how much smoothing we did or how hard we tried to fix it, nothing would straighten out the paper, or get it back to normal.

I tried to make the connection about how the inside of a person looks like that after unkind words are said and actions are done.

Sometimes it is difficult to know whether the lesson will stick with them, but I figure it takes, what 21 times, for something to stick into a person’s memory or become habit. So, if it takes 21 of these lessons (I’m hoping not) at least I’ll know one very important lesson was learned.


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