Books designed for small groups, class lessons. and with individual students to encourage healthy friendships.
Pirate is friends with Scientist. Viking is friends with Scientist. Pirate and Viking are not friends! Sound like some of your referrals? I read this book every year and it still hasn’t gotten old. It’s a great way to talk about a friendship of three and feeling stuck in the middle between two friends who don’t get along.
Activity: Show students this Bill Nye science experiment on pressure. Debrief by discussing the pressures of friendship.
Next, have students create a “formula for friendship” or have partners complete a Venn Diagram (like the one from Counselor Up!) about each other. You can also check out the activity pack I created to go with this book.
Did you love the movie Wonder? Check out this beautiful picture book based on the chapter book.
Activity: Become a certified kind classroom by participating in Random House’s kindness classroom challenge. Author and publisher websites are often a great source for ideas and activities.
This is such a simple, yet beautiful book. The Amazon description summarizes my love this book best “Adorable photos of unlikely-but-true animal friends, paired with easy-to-read text, create a heartwarming portrait of the many faces of friendship.”
Activity: I call this my “awe” lesson, because we always start with this great commerical and even my toughest students let out one “awe.”
After reading create a list of questions you could ask people to get to know them better. For example: “what do you like to eat?” “Tell me about your family.” I put the list on the board for reference. Partner students and gave them a few minutes to talk and ask the questions. Next ask them to create their own Venn Diagram about each other, using this great resource from Counselor Up!
What older elementary and middle school friendship hasn’t been subject to the trails and tribulations of gossip? This book is perfect for those cases. It’s no surprise this book received a Coretta Scott King Book Honor. The secret is represented by a red balloon that continues to get bigger as the book progresses. The simple illustration creates a perfect analogy for rumors and gossip.
Activity: Blow up a balloon as you read to give students a visual representation of the secret or play a game of telephone!
This story includes lots of prompts about what to do when others are being unkind and also describes how the body is feeling. For example, when her cheeks get red she walks away.
I wish there was a little more between her eye opening moment in front of the bowl of fruit and the next day at school and also I wish they incorporated the character education words a little more.
Activity: Create your own friendship fruit salad to share as a class or give to the teacher. It’s simple:
I had a bowl that I explained represented their classroom and our school. We then added several cans of different fruits and shared what they represented. For example, our peach can represented sweet students who demonstrated compassion for others. Our pears were students who listened and followed directions and our tropical fruit represented the students that made everyone feel included.
Then the students got to add in a marshmallow if they could share one act of sweet kindness.
After it was all mixed together, I pulled out a rotten banana and asked them if they wanted to add it to the fruit salad. Of course they all screamed no. We talked about what behaviors the rotten banana represented- like hitting or name calling. Then as we read the book the students had to identify “rotten banana” behaviors and “sweet fruit friend” behavior they saw in the story.
Partner with this lesson from Counselor Chelsey.
Find more books here: https://www.goodreads.com/PawsitiveSchoolCounseling
See my personal list of books I own with categories and links to activities here. To Edit Click File and “Make a copy”!
Find videos to partner with books here:
Check out more amazing resources from these amazing counselors, educators, parents, etc.: