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September 27, 2011 Friends By Jeremy Brunaccioni
Grades 3–5

    Hi, folks. I'm sure you've all been busy helping to foster new friendships in your classrooms as the school year begins. I thought I'd help you out by turning you onto these new friendship-themed books.


    Hopper and Wilson

    Written by Maria Van Lieshout

    Published by Philomel

    A mouse and elephant  set off to find the edge of the world, but are separated by a sudden squall. Because of their strong bond of friendship, Wilson the mouse searches persistently for Hopper and in the end they are reunited.


    A House in the Woods

    Written by Inga Moore

    Published by Candlewick Press

    A beautifully illustrated tale of animal friends who work together to solve an overcrowding problem.


    Pirates and Princesses

    Written by Jill Kargman and Sadie Kargman

    Published by Dutton

    Friends since birth, Ivy and Fletch don't just adapt to the new social situation they find in kindergarten, where boys and girls segregate themselves on the playground, but help change it for the better.

    Classroom Tips

    • To foster friendships, it's helpful for children to learn their classmates' names. Use your camera to create a name chart, complete with head shots of your students. Post it in a prominent spot, like your meeting area, and use it to review names.
    • Have the children illustrate friendship posters showing ways to be a friend. Post them throughout the school (e.g., gym, cafeteria, classroom) so that children may refer to them throughout the day.
    • During morning meeting, help the children to practice giving "put ups." For put ups, they select a friend and point out something they especially like about them.

    I hope these tips inspire you as you help your students build the foundation for strong friendships. As always, feel free to write in with your ideas and your favorite friendship titles. I look forward to hearing from you.


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