How to Find a Friend and BE a Friend

I just love this time of year when we can decorate our classrooms in red hearts and Cupids!  Kids love Valentine's Day and so do teachers!  I think it's because it's a special time to promote friendship and kindness.  But do our kids really know how to spot a good friend?

I decided to compile everything I have heard and learned through the years about friendship and kids and put together a packet that really helps kids understand what a good friend is. A true friend.  Even after teaching kids all year about friendship and sharing, kids still have difficulties dealing with certain situations because they just may not have learned what to look for in a friend. I broke this down into What is a good friend?   How to recognize a good friend. How to BE a good friend.

I wanted a set that I could use all year long -  not just for Valentine's Day.  Even for Valentine's Day, I wanted kids to understand that friendship is not something that is earned through chocolates and gifts but through kindness and understanding and being honest.  So while I love to have a little Valentine's Day party, I also wanted to front load the understanding that friendship takes work. Where I teach, it is also anti-bullying month.  I think it's very important to teach kids about bullying but I think it's equally as important to teach kids about the positive social skills and confidence to recognize what a good friend is, don't you think?

In this set, kids will read about what a good friend is and then sort character traits on a good friend/not a good friend mat.  (This can be a great center activity too.)

There are mini posters (and black and white versions too to save ink) on what a good friend looks like and sounds like. All too often, kids learn the "facts" but can't recognize it to see it on the playground, in the classroom, or in the community/neighborhood.

Kids will have writing activities and also will create a nice flip book.  These friend traits came from years of students telling me what they thought made a good friend. I couldn't agree more. I value learning that is authentic.

I have included vocabulary both in color (hearts) and B & W for your pocket chart and/or vocabulary activities you may like to do.  Once students have learned about what a friend is, and what to look for, they will play a friendship game (available in full color and black and white).  This game is simple to play and includes cards that student will draw as they play and answer the question. The questions are personal questions that help each player get to know each other better. (ex. What is your favorite hobby?)  I have included a different looking black and white version also for kids to create their own game.

I really love when kids send sweet messages to their friends - why just do it on Valentine's Day?  Many teachers have incorporated a "bucket filling" component to their classroom.  This last set of printables can be just that or it can be used as a set of Valentine's cards. :)

Now including a bonus lap book set!!

If you'd like to take a look at this new set, click here or on the image below. Have a great day!

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