Stick and Stone Lessons for Building Friendships

Stick and Stone Lessons for Building Friendships title image

It’s tough for kids to make friends sometimes, and in Stick and Stone, two unlikely objects become friends. They just needed a little help recognizing each other’s strengths. In this post, I’ll share with you lesson ideas that will use this book to model friendship and more.

introducing stick and stone to your class:

Stick and Stone is all about friendship, and certainly, this is a great book to use at the beginning of the year, at Valentine’s Day, or any time your kids need a reboot.

Before reading, you might do a picture walk and talk about these unlikely friends and set the stage for friendship discussions. You’ll talk through the vocabulary words preselected for the story including:

  • wander
  • bully
  • explore
  • vanish
  • lonely
  • alone
  • friendship
  • rescue
Stick and Stone Vocabulary Activities

Teaching points for stick and stone

When reading Stick and Stone to a class, it’s good for the teacher to stop at strategic points for discussing themes, check comprehension, and to reflect on lessons. Here are suggested stopping points along with potential discussion topics:

  1. Introduction:
    • Stop after introducing Stick and Stone. Ask students to predict what the story might be about based on the characters’ names and appearance.
    • Discuss initial impressions of Stick and Stone and encourage students to share if they’ve ever felt alone or had a friend when they needed one.
  2. Friendship Formation:
    • Pause when Stick and Stone meet. Discuss how the characters feel and why Stick and Stone decide to be friends.
    • Explore the idea of friendship and what qualities make a good friend.
  3. Challenges:
    • Stop when Stick encounters a challenge. Discuss the problem and ask students to predict how Stick might solve it.
    • Connect this part of the story to real-life challenges and problem-solving skills.
  4. Stone’s Role:
    • Pause when Stone comes to Stick’s rescue. Discuss the importance of helping friends and how Stone demonstrates loyalty.
    • Explore the concept of support and how friends can be there for each other.
  5. Resolution:
    • Stop at the resolution of the story. Discuss how Stick and Stone work together to overcome challenges.
    • Emphasize the positive outcome and the strength of their friendship.
  6. Reflection:
    • After completing the story, pause to reflect on the overall message. Discuss what students learned about friendship, kindness, and the value of helping others.
    • Ask students to share their favorite parts of the story and why.

cOMPREHENSION QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT USE WITH STICK AND STONE:

Having comprehension questions to use as you’re sharing the read aloud can help keep your students engaged during the read aloud. You can also use them for modeling the skills you’ve selected for the lesson. Here are a few questions to help you get started. I also have question task cards you can use for the students either during or after reading.

  1. Friendship Themes:
    • How does Stick feel when he is alone at the beginning of the story?
    • What makes Stick and Stone become friends?
    • How do Stick and Stone help each other throughout the book?
  2. Character Analysis:
    • Describe Stick’s personality. How is he different from Stone?
    • How does Stone react when Stick is in trouble? What does this tell you about Stone’s character?
  3. Problem-Solving:
    • Can you identify a problem that Stick faces in the story? How does he solve it?
    • Why is it important for Stick and Stone to work together?
  4. Feelings and Emotions:
    • How do you think Stick feels when he’s left alone? Why?
    • How does Stone feel when Stick helps him?
  5. Story Structure:
    • What is the main idea or message of the story?
    • Can you identify the beginning, middle, and end of the book?
  6. Lesson Learned:
    • What do Stick and Stone teach us about friendship?
    • How can the experiences of Stick and Stone be related to real-life friendships?

modeling comprehension skills with stick and stone:

If you’d like to have printables and digital pages to go with Stick and Stone, check out what’s included in my unit below. The unit has 35 PDF pages as well as a Google Slides version of the same activities.

  • Making Predictions organizer
  • Vocabulary organizers and word cards plus 1 follow up activity
  • Making Comparisons between characters organizer
  • Making Connections with the Text
  • BME organizer
  • SWBST organizer
  • Sequencing Events
  • Cause and Effect Matching
  • 12 questioning task cards
  • FRIENDS acrostic poem
  • Role Playing Cards for morning meeting or post reading discussion
  • Essay writing about why Friends Are Important
  • Craft Activity

work on essay writing with stick and stone:

Finally, using Stick and Stone provides an opportunity for introducing essay writing about why friends are important. In this unit, you get a writing prompt in a four square planner, step by step writing pages for drafting, and final draft pages

In addition to the essay writing assignment, there is also a post reading activity where students can write an acrostic poem (FRIENDS) and a role playing activity.

grab your stick and stone resource:

other winter mentor text posts you might like:

Here on my site, you’ll find other snow stories you might like too. Here are just a few mentor text posts to check out.

Winter is a great time to solidify friendships around Valentine’s Day but also when kids return from winter break. I hope you find these ideas helpful as you use Stick and Stone with your class. If you have any questions, feel free to message me.

Carla

Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.