Our Friendship Chain Links Us Together
- Grades: PreK–K
- Unit Plan:
- Listen to a song about what friends do together.
- Dictate a list of qualities that make a good friend.
- Draw a picture of their friends on a paper link.
- Tape paper links together to make a class Friendship Chain.
- Present a Friendship Poem/Chant to the class.
- Song About Friendship, e.g. "Glad to Have a Friend Like You" from the CD Free to Be You and Me by Marlo Thomas and Friends
- Friendship Poems/Chants Letter to Parents (PDF)
- 12" x 9" white construction paper
- 12" x 9" colored construction paper — purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.
- Tape for each group of four students
- Colored pencils
- Chart pocket holder and black marker for recording student responses
Set Up and Prepare
- Copy of Friendship Poems/Chants Letter to Parents for each student
- Pre-cut 12" x 3" white construction paper strips (1 for each student and teacher in the class).
- Pre-cut 12" x 3" colored construction paper strips (1 for each student and teacher in the class; evenly distributed by color and mixed up).
- Tape, crayons, and colored pencils.
- Chart pocket holder, black marker, and stapler.
Step 1: Gather students together for a group discussion. Ask them who their friends are and what they do together. Explain that you're going to play a song about friends and they need to listen carefully because at the end of the song, you're going to ask them to tell you some of the things friends do together. Play a song about friendship. I like to play "Glad to Have a Friend Like You" from the CD Free to Be You and Me by Marlo Thomas and Friends. Ask the children to share what they heard.
Step 2: Explain to the students that in order to do all these things they discussed, friends have to behave or act a certain way. Tell them that in your class you're all friends and that means behaving in a friendly way. Ask the children to tell you some of the qualities a person needs to have to be a friend, and that you will be recording the powerful "friendship" words they share. Write these on the colored strips, using the six different colors. Some words that could be generated are: share, be nice, respectful, helpful, take turns, play together, listen, get along, give presents, hold hands, give hugs, kind, etc. Accept all answers. After you write the words, place the strips in the pocket chart. While children are completing the next step, you may need to make duplicate strips so that each child will have one later.
Step 3: Explain that the class will be making a Friendship Chain from the words they shared to remind everyone all year how a good friend behaves. Distribute a white construction paper strip to students and ask them to draw a picture of themselves doing something with a friend. After they finish their drawings, show them how they can bend their strips to make a circle and tape the ends together to make a link.
Step 4: As children gather back together, have them share their illustration and select a "friendship" word from the colored strips in the pocket chart from Step 2.
Step 5: When they're finished, invite students to create small groups with others that have the same color strips.
Step 6: Call one color group up at a time and use the students' colored strips to staple a link and join the students' white strips together. If you call the groups in this order: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red, you will have a chain that also shows the graduating colors of the rainbow.
Step 7: When all the links are together, hang the class Friendship Chain in a place where it can be referred to all year long. Let the children know that by making the chain together, the whole class is showing what good friends do best: cooperate! Post a sign by the chain that reads, "Our Friendship Chain Links Us All Together."
Supporting All Learners
Encourage those who are ready to write words on their strips. Assist those children who are unable to make a link and tape it together. Remind children the names of the colors you are using for those children who are still learning color names.
Ask students to think about the kinds of things friends don't do. Dissuade students from naming children who exhibit this kind of behavior, but allow them to vocalize the kind of behavior they know is inappropriate. For example, "Friends do not hit or push friends." Write each of these declarations on a piece of 8 ½" x 11" paper. When you have collected ten or more, read them again with the class. Crumple each one into a ball and place in a basket. Throughout the week, have a student come up, pull one of the paper balls out and reread it to remind the class how friends shouldn't behave. If the statement did not occur in the class that day, give a cheer. If the action did occur that day, talk about how true friends behave by reviewing the "Friendship Chain."
Chart and practice the Friendship Poems/Chants in class (see printable). Send the printable home for students to practice with their parents. Invite children to pick one or more poems or chants to practice at home and then present to the class. Some families may want to write their own.
- Complete an illustration about friendship.
- Make a class Friendship Chain.
- Present a friendship poem/chant to the class.
EvaluationWere children able to articulate what they thought about friends and friendship? Were students able to illustrate what they had orally presented? Was there enough time for all students to be successful? Were students engaged and on task the entire time? How might you do this lesson differently next time?
Observe student's oral responses during class discussions and their illustrations about what friends do together. Fine motor skills can be assessed through their pictures. Check to see which students are using letters or words.