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This 5-day friendship lesson integrates character education, language arts, math, music and a craft activity


Language Arts, Math, Music  


PreK, K, 1, 2  

Title – Importance of Friendship – Accepting Differences
By – Elaine Engerdahl
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Math, Music
Grade Level – PreK-2

Brief Description:

    This lesson is a weekly plan that focuses on the importance of friendship and appreciating the similarities and differences experienced in these friendships. It integrates character education, language arts, math, literacy and a craft activity.


  • Understand the importance of friendship and identifying and appreciating differences and similarities within these friendships.
  • Interpret a simple graph to understand differences and similarities that exist within the classroom.
  • After reading the emergent reader Family of Friends each day with the children as a shared reading experience, the children should be able to read it on their own (the story line is predictable enough). Depending on the age of the children, your objective might be to have the children track words.


  • Literature – book My Friend Isabelle by Eliza Woloson (author) and Bryan Gough (illustrator).
  • Red and green construction paper
  • Emergent reader Family of Friends
  • Name plates (preferably with pictures)
  • Child outline template to complete related craft activity



      Day 1:


      • Read the book My Friend Isabelle to the children. It is a wonderful book that teaches about differences and acceptance. Isabelle has Down Syndrome, but this doesn’t matter to her friend Charlie. This book is geared for Preschool-Grade 1 aged children to effectively teach this concept.
      • Discuss the book.
      • Math Integration:
            Each day focus on similarities and differences within the class by using a graph. Have green and red circles (enough for each child in the class). Graph yes and no answers. Green is for ” yes ” answers and red is for ” no ” answers. Key focus is on how they are all a “family of friends” having similarities and differences.

            Graph the following:

              Family Differences – Who has brothers and sisters? Discuss graphing results

              Language Differences – Who can speak one language and who can speak more than one.

              Food Preference Differences – Who likes pizza?

              Ability Differences – Who can ride a bike?

              Appearance Differences – A graph showing different hair coloring within the class could be used – o yellow o circles representing blonde hair, etc.



      Day 2:


      • The emergent reader Family of Friends would be introduced as a shared reading experience. This reader is meant to expand the concept and also introduce the reading process. The teacher would model the reading process by pointing to the words as it is read. The reader would be transferred to a pocket chart or made into a big book for the teacher to read as a whole class activity. The little books would be completed by the children at center time and taken home to read to their parents.
      • Each day add different names while using the reader as a shared reading experience (name plates used). Have fun playing with the names. Look at the different letters and sounds they begin with. Count the letters in each name. Change the initial letter sound in each name. What is the new name? (children love this activity).
      • Music Integration:
            Sing to the tune of “Three Blind Mice.”

        We are friends.
        We are friends.
        Yes, we are.
        Every day we play so nice; sharing all the things we like
        We are friends.

        Each day sing the song passing around a bean bag as the song is sung. When the song finishes, the child holding the bag is the focus. Children think of positive comments to say about him/her. This can continue a few times each day.


      Day 3:


        Read the emergent reader together as a shared reading experience again, continuing with the activities introduced in the previous days.
        Introduce letter “Ff” heard in the song and emergent reader “Family of Friends”. Act out the sound “jumping fast” and “falling” focusing on the sound. Make duplicate copies of the

alphabet pictures

        found on the website. Pass these out to each children saying the word as you pass them out. Sort them according to if they begin with the letter “Ff” sound or not. These can be placed in the literacy center after.


      Day 4:

        Read the emergent reader again as a shared reading experience. Continue the activities introduced on the previous days.


      Day 5: Cooking and Sharing Day


        Share activities they completed in the centers.

          Children can make a simple friendship mix much like trail mix.  Using one-to-one number correspondence the children can count 10 cheerios, 10 shreddies and 10 pretzels or any other ingredients you can think of. 


E-Mail Elaine Engerdahl !

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