Social Studies Close this window
Modelling the Tools HeaderWhat's this?

Learning to Be a Friend

This modelling the tools is incorporated into critical challenges at Kindergarten, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.


Session One

Explore the picture.

  • Display one of the pictures. Invite students to describe the scene portrayed and how the child shown is likely feeling. Encourage students to imagine how they would feel if they were this child. With caution regarding potentially sensitive information, invite students to share experiences where they may have been upset because of something that others did to them.

Propose solutions.

  • Ask students, in pairs or small groups, to suggest how they might help the child in the picture feel better. Call on each group to share one action with the rest of the class. Record suggestions on the chalkboard or chart paper.

Develop criteria for friendly responses.

  • Invite students to think about what it means to be a friendly person by posing the following questions:
    • How do I know when someone is my friend?
    • What does it look like when a person is being friendly to me?
  • Create a chart with three columns. Invite students to brainstorm the actions of a friendly person and record these in the middle column. For each action, ask students to indicate what this action reveals about the person performing the action; i.e., what qualities are revealed by each action. Ask, for example, If someone smiles at you, does this suggest he or she likes you or hates you? If someone shares his or her toys with you, does this mean he or she wants you to feel happy or sad? Record qualities of a friendly person in the first column. Use these implied qualities to help students generate other actions of a friendly person. Ask, for example, Besides smiling at me, how else might a friend show that he or she likes me? How else, besides sharing his or her toys, can a friend make me feel good? Use these questions to expand the list of actions of a friendly person. After a number of suggestions, ask students to describe what it looks like when a person is not showing friendly qualities. Record these comments in the third column. If necessary, generate more actions in this column by returning to the qualities of a friendly person and asking students to suggest how a person who did not have these qualities might act. Ask, for example, Beside not letting me join in, how else might a person show that he or she does not care about my feelings?

Recognizing Friendly People

Qualities of a Friendly Person

Actions of a Friendly Person

Actions of a Nonfriendly Person

  • shows that he or she likes you
  • makes you feel good
  • cares about your feelings
  • smiles at you
  • shares toys
  • encourages you
  • says mean things to you
  • ignores you
  • doesn't let you join in

Introduce the critical challenge.

  • When the class has generated lists of friendly and nonfriendly actions, invite students to use this chart to help them recognize whether or not someone is a friendly person. Return to the earlier list of generated responses or the distressing situation in the picture and present the critical question:

Which of the suggested responses best reflects the qualities of a friendly person?

    Ask students to evaluate the suggested solutions against the qualities listed in the chart to choose the best response.

Role-play possible responses.

  • Invite each of the original pairs or small groups to role-play the situation in the picture and their suggested response. Invite the slighted student, in each role-play, to describe his or her feelings while portraying the character in the upsetting situation. Next, ask the slighted student to describe the change in his or her feelings after the friendly response. Invite students to role-play additional responses and add these suggestions to the list of friendly actions.

Respond individually.

  • Distribute an enlarged copy (e.g., 11" x 17") of A Friendly Action to each student. Invite students to think about the situation depicted in a picture that you provide or about an actual situation where they were treated in an unfriendly manner. Ask students to draw the problem and describe the person's feelings. They should then list (with help, if needed) two possible responses and then draw a picture of the action that best shows a friendly person. Encourage students to refer to the qualities of a friendly person when explaining why their proposed action is the better response.


  Next section >




Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
Copyright | Feedback
Back to top