Building a Community of Friends

Friendships we make in school are essential to our emotional development, but some children struggle to do this. For some kids, making friends is a real challenge. As the leaders of our classrooms, it is of utmost importance that we foster an inclusive classroom. This post includes ideas, resources, and links to help you plan for these experiences.

Friendships we make in school are essential to our emotional development, but some children struggle to do this. For some kids, making friends is a real challenge. As the leaders of our classrooms, it is of utmost importance that we foster an inclusive classroom where ALL children feel a sense of belonging regardless of their race, religion, family make up, or sex. Our children NEED us to embed within our daily curriculum resources that build a sense of community and belonging.

Today, I'd like to link up with my fellow bloggers to help provide readers with go-to resources for completing the mission of inclusiveness.

Kindness and Community Building Resources and Ideas

This Pinterest board has been formed to collect resources, book suggestions, blog posts, as well as other themed resources. Feel free to follow it or pin to your own collection.
Follow Comprehension's board Friendship Theme Ideas on Pinterest.

Book Suggestions that Inspire Friendship

Friendships we make in school are essential to our emotional development, but some children struggle to do this. For some kids, making friends is a real challenge. As the leaders of our classrooms, it is of utmost importance that we foster an inclusive classroom. This post includes ideas, resources, and links to help you plan for these experiences.


Of all the books on my bookshelf, the one I feel most strongly about using in a friendship unit is Bully by Patricia Polacco.  It is outstanding, and when I used it last year with my students, it worked beautifully as an introduction to internet safety as well as bullying.  I teamed with our technology specialist and guidance counselor to address these issues and as an introduction to the writing assignment I was using with my kids.  I have a unit developed to go with the book which includes comprehension and writing materials.  


The second book on my list is the book, Goggles by Ezra Jack Keats.  It too deals with bullying, but the book is written on a lower level making it more appropriate for second through fourth grades. This unit's focus is more on comprehension, but there it does have a brief prompt that can be used as a post reading response.

Kindness in the ClassroomThe final favorite of mine is Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson.  This book just really touched me when I discovered it by reading my friend Wendy's blog post on Read with Me ABC.  I recently created this unit bundle to highlight this book, focus on character development and traits, and extend the themes through writing.

Fun Ways to Foster Friendships

FRIEND-used this acronym/idea when teaching activity day girls..worked well, good discussionI was so excited with some of the ideas I found on Pinterest, and I know you'll enjoy them too.  The first find is a great decor freebie to encourage friendship all year long.  What a great way to build character and encourage positive treatment in the classroom.  I just love this! To get your copy of the posters, just click the image to the left and be sure to leave feedback for my friend at Divide and Conquer.  

After reading "Enemy Pie," have your students write a Friendship Pie Recipe and complete a cute and simple pie craft!This next fabulous find comes from A Year of Many Firsts.  Lyndsey's blog post about Enemy Pie has man"take it to your classroom tomorrow" ideas.  Check out this cute writing response and the many other great ideas by clicking the image to the right.

cute craft ~ perfect for your family tree! 
This next idea is a craft for the home, but I am thinking that it could be a fabulous bulletin board too.  Imagine cute pictures of each student in your classroom at the bottom.  It would be a nice reminder that your classmates are people with feelings.  For details on how to make this, you can visit the website by clicking the image.

Collaborative HAND ART project. Could be done with a classroom of students. Or make it a family project and have children collect one hand print design from each family member, then put them together for a family tree.Kindness Wreath~add a ribbon for each act of kindness you catch a student doing throughout the year.This next craft is a group project believe it or not.  It's a deviation on the bucket filler concept. Ribbons are added to the wreath frame when students show acts of kindness.  The Friendship tree is done the same way.  Handprint leaves are added with positive behavior. I just love both of these ideas, and I can see them being very effective with students too. 

For more friendship ideas, be sure to check out the links below.  I shared many friendship freebies this week on my Facebook page, and I'll add them to the list below.  If you have suggestions, please comment for others to see or better yet, link up!  

I hope the rest of your week goes well and that you'll come back soon.  

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Friendships we make in school are essential to our emotional development, but some children struggle to do this. For some kids, making friends is a real challenge. As the leaders of our classrooms, it is of utmost importance that we foster an inclusive classroom. This post includes ideas, resources, and links to help you plan for these experiences.

3 comments

  1. What great ideas! I had forgotten about Bully and am not familiar with Goggles, but I'm going to revisit both of them. Thanks for the great linky.

    Teresa
    Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bully is perfect for fourth grade, but Goggles is sort of on the same line. It's geared more toward second graders I think. Thanks for dropping by Teresa!

      Delete
  2. Hi Carla! I always enjoy reading your Thematic Thursday posts and love your Shelfari book recommendations!

    ReplyDelete

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