Teaching Friendship: 14 Ways and Resources


Teach students about building friendships with give and take. Here are 7 books, 4 videos and 3 friendship building activities.

These 14 resources and engaging ways for teaching friendship should help students better understand what it means to be a friend… rather than if they just play on the playground together everyday.

You’ll also enjoy the free printable bookmarks that remind everyone how to make friends.

Teaching Friendship 14 Ways and Resources

Friendship-themed books

Start off with a fantastic collection of read alouds. Let lots of discussion and comparisons take place – don’t be afraid to talk about the tough parts!

With famous books like Amos and Boris or the non-fiction example of Owen and Mzee, your students will begin to form real pictures of what friendship is. Round out your exploration with friendship bracelets and friendship high fives to build on what they’ve learned…

This list is by Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

Here are a few of my favorite books for teaching about friendship:

Amos and Boris

This is one of my all-time favorites. Amos the mouse and Boris the whale: a devoted pair of friends with nothing at all in common, except good hearts and a willingness to help their fellow mammal. They meet after Amos sets out to sail the sea and finds himself in extreme need of rescue. And there will come a day, long after Boris has gone back to a life at sea and Amos has gone back to life on dry land, when the tiny mouse must find a way to rescue the great whale.

Here’s a little freebie I made to go along with the book.

 Charlotte’s Web is always a favorite when talking about friendship.

The One and Only Ivan

This book became an instant HUGE success when I read it aloud to my class. They begged me to keep reading every time I stopped for the day!

The One and Only Ivan is a winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

Other picture book favorites for a friendship study are:

These non-fiction examples of animal friendships are wonderful:

Owen and Mzee

The amazing true story of the orphaned baby hippo and 130-year-old giant turtle whose remarkable friendship touched millions around the world.

Owen and Mzee is the inspiring true story of two great friends, a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-yr-old giant tortoise named Mzee (Mm-ZAY). When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone’s amazement, the orphan hippo and the elderly tortoise adopted each other. Now they are inseparable, swimming, eating, and playing together. Adorable photos e-mailed from friend to friend quickly made them worldwide celebrities. Here is a joyous reminder that in times of trouble, friendship is stronger than the differences that too often pull us apart.

Koko’s Kitten

Koko was a famous sign-language-speaking gorilla. Koko’s Kitten is the true story of her friendship with a kitten. “Patterson and Cohn let readers see . . . the gentle mind that wanted something to love and be loved by.” –School Library Journal

Here is a slideshow from the NY Times about Animals as Friends.

And here are more Children’s Books on Friendship.

Bulletin board ideas

Here are a couple of cute bulletin board ideas.

Friendship videos

Want to make Friendship Soup with your class? Check out this video!

I love this Friendship Motivational Video.

And this one: Deaf Children Sign a Touching Song About Friendship

Friendship-building activities

What a great activity to show our friends how much we care – create friendship high fives.

source: simpleplayideas.com

I don’t know about your kiddos, but mine LOVE friendship bracelets! Get the tutorial on how to make friendship bracelets.

Here’s a link to some fun Friendship-Building Games that may come in handy

In the spirit of friendship, here is a bookmark freebie for you. It comes in three different sizes to fit your needs.

More Handy Tips

Leslie {aka the original Teach Junkie} loves learning new things to make teaching easier and more effective. She enjoys featuring creative classroom fun when she's not designing teacher shirts, making kindergarten lesson plans or planning her family's next trip to Disney World.