Teaching Friendship With Clifford the Big Red Dog
The focus of this Clifford lesson plan is to teach young students about friendship, being polite, and having good manners.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
Woof! Woof! The focus of this lesson is to encourage awareness of good manners through literature and creative expression.
Clifford's Big Idea: Be a Good Friend
As children experience relationships early in life, they learn that friendships can be both rewarding and challenging. Through healthy personal relationships, children can develop the foundation they need to socially grow as they mature.
The following activities nurture essential:
- language and literacy skills
- social and emotional skills
- charting and graphing skills
- Clifford’s Manners by Norman Bridwell
- Star stickers, at least 50 per student
- Chart paper for a Manners Chart
Day 1: Practice Makes Perfect!
Step 1: Discuss definitions of the following words: "courteous" and "polite."
Step 2: Have children role-play examples of friends being courteous and polite at school by taking turns, saying "thank you," and sharing.
Teaching Tip: Before role-playing, give students suggestions for movements. If a student doesn’t feel secure acting out on their own, encourage him or her to invite a friend to join in. Role-playing is a great teaching tool that can be used to encourage understanding and promote creative expression.
Step 3: Read Clifford’s Manners by Norman Bridwell aloud to the class.
Step 4: Explain that friends have more fun working together and playing when they are using their manners. Ask children to recall ways that Clifford used his manners in the story.
Step 5: As a group, create a list of good manners to use in the classroom. Display the list and review it each day by briefly role-playing each manner.
Day 2: I’m Courteous and Polite!
Step 1: Set up a Manners Chart on a sheet of chart paper. Divide the chart by student names.
Step 2: Have each child place a sticky star on the classroom chart each time they are courteous and polite, individually, or as a group.
Step 3: Set goals for rewards at 5, 10, 15, and 20 stars. Present “I’m Courteous and Polite” certificates to students when these goals are reached.
Step 4: Help your class decide on a group reward when everyone reaches his or her goal. What a fun way to recognize and promote good manners at school and home!
Learning good table manners is important at any age!
- Help children learn more about good table manners by sharing visual examples of people using proper etiquette.
- Show children how to set a simple table with paper plates and plastic serving tools. Then have a classroom tea party or picnic to practice good manners and create good habits at the table. Take pictures to create a “Kids with Good Manners” bulletin board.
These books support Clifford’s Big Ideas and reinforce valuable early literacy skills:
- Clifford Goes to Dog School by Norman Bridwell
- Clifford Barks by Norman Bridwell
- Make New Friends by Rosemary Wells
Also check out the Clifford the Big Red Dog Book List.