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Lesson Plans
Making Friends

Making friends is a key element of social and emotional development in the primary and pre-primary curriculum. In "Aggression and Cooperation: Helping Young Children Develop Constructive Strategies," Dr. Jan Jewett, project coordinator for the Center for Supportive Education at Washington State University, stresses cooperative play and dramatic role play in social interactions to help children work and play together constructively.


To use cooperation and role play to guide students to explore how to choose and make friends.


Get to Know the Friends Match Game

Character Cards


Print out the Character Cards (PDF), backs and fronts. Be sure to have at least one printout for each child.


Play Wally Bear and Friends Introduction for the class or have small groups work through the Get to Know the Friends Match Game on the computer. (If you have access to an LCD projector, you can have the whole class play the game and meet the friends together.) Have the students listen carefully and then talk about the special characteristics of each of the friends. Who would they most like to have as a friend? Why? What would they say to the characters if they wanted to introduce themselves or make friends with them?

Have students pick Character Cards (PDF) that represent their favorite characters. Pair up students to create teams with two different characters. Provide time for students to talk together, acting as their favorite characters. They should talk about things they like to do and what they could do together. Younger students may get most of their information from the pictures on the cards; older students can find out more information from the backs of the cards.

Then, using the arts and crafts items, have the pairs work together to make appropriate costumes. For example, students might use pipe cleaners to make glasses for Thurgood Turtle, ribbons to make a bow for Kristi Kitty, or felt to make flowers for Mee Possum.

Teaching Note: If dressing in character is not possible, have students attach craft sticks to their Character Cards (PDF) and hold them up like stick puppets as they role play. These puppets will be sturdier if printed on card stock or laminated.

"Dressed" as their favorite characters, have student teams dramatize their conversations for the class. If appropriate, you and other students may ask the team questions that they can answer in their character's roles.

Teaching Note: Since information about the characters is limited, many details children use to role play their characters will come from their own likes, dislikes, and imaginations. This makes the role play an excellent tool for sharing.

Optional Procedure: Spend outdoor time or snack time with the children dressed in character. They should interact with other students as if they are the characters.

Related Family Article: Your Kids and Their Friends


Please note—to view documents in PDF format, you must have Adobe's free Acrobat Reader software. If you do not already have this software installed on your computer, please download it from Adobe's website.

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Updated on 3/22/2014