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My Kind of Friend


This lesson explores what qualities make a good friend. This is a way to help students become aware of positive and inappropriate behaviors.

Main Curriculum Tie:
Social Studies - 2nd GradeStandard 1
(Culture): Students will recognize and describe how people within their community, state, and nation are both similar and different.


Additional Resources

  • Tacky the Penguin, by Helen Lester; ISBN 0-395-45536-7


Background For Teachers:
Tacky the Penguin is about a little penguin whose unusual behavior often causes him problems with his friends When Tacky saves the day, his fellow penguins discover that Tacky’s unique qualities can make him a wonderful friend. This lesson explores what qualities make a good friend. This is a way to help students become aware of positive and inappropriate behaviors.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.

Instructional Procedures:

Invitation to Learn
Today we are going to talk about what you like and don’t like in a friend.

Do you have a best friend? What do you like best about him/her?

Instructional Procedures

Day 1

  1. Read Tacky the Penguin, by Helen Lester. (Before beginning, instruct the students to listen and look at the illustrations for examples of Tacky’s unusual behavior and his companion’s reactions.)
  2. After reading, begin a student discussion about Tacky’s unusual behavior, recording answers on the appropriate side of the T-chart.

    Tacky’s Behavior | Problems Created

    Next, lead the students into a discussion about the trouble each behavior caused for the other penguin. Record student answers on the T-chart under "Problems Created."

  3. Let students share how the qualities they possess help them to overcome everyday situations.
  4. Give each student a copy of the Tacky Penguin handout.
    • Cut out the penguin along the solid lines.
    • Fold wings as indicated.
    • On the outside of the folded wings, have students write words or phrases that describe Tacky’s outward appearance and behavior.
    • Instruct the students to open up the wings and on Tacky’s belly, list Tacky’s qualities that are discovered when the hunters arrive.
  5. Let the students share their penguins. Ask each student to give an explanation for one of the positive qualities that Tacky possessed.
  6. Because friends are important, I want you to think about what you like and don’t like in a friend.
  7. Create a "Good Friends Do These Things" / "Good Friends Try Not To Do These Things" T-chart on the board.
  8. Read the Behavior Word Strips. After the class comes to a consensus, place the strips under the appropriate side of the chart.
  9. Summarize the lesson.

Day 2

  1. Today, we are going to talk a little more about what you like and don’t like in a friend. Let’s start with “I don’t like it when a friend...” (Write statement on board.) What are some of the words I could write under this sentence? Elicit student responses. (Some examples might be put downs, brags, tattles, teases, dishonest, etc.)
    Repeat activity using the statement "I like it when a friend..." (Some examples might be honesty, kindness, talk to each other, do things for each others, share compliments, etc.)
  2. Role play different situations in which students demonstrate what they like and dislike about friends (e.g., taking sides, put-downs, arguing with a friend, etc.).
    Select two students to role play.
    First role play — Have the two students pretend to run into each other in the lunch room. Have them get into an argument and say mean things to each other
    Second role play — Have the two students pretend to run into each other in the lunch room, but this time they are to be nice to each other.
    Ask: How do you think both children felt in the first situation? How do you think both children felt in the second situation? Remind the students that handling situations in a positive way can make everyone feel good.
  3. Hand out My Kind of Friend worksheet. Have students brainstorm as many words as they can that describe the characteristics they like in friends and write them inside their person. Encourage the students to think of as many words as they can.
  4. On a previously prepared poster or illustration on the board, duplicate the student worksheet. Ask the students to share one of the things they wrote inside their My Kind of Friend person. Write student responses on your illustration.
    If we look at our My Kind of Friend illustration, we can get some good ideas about friendship. We could say, "A friend is _____________."
  5. What do you think the saying, “A way to have a friend is to be one” means? (student response) Try to think of a few ways you can be a friend. (Allow students time to contemplate.)
    Let the students share some of the ways they can be a friend.
  6. Summarize lesson. (Remind the students that we talked about qualities we like and dislike in a friend. We also discussed ways in which we can be a good friend to others.)


  • Role Play—Aesop’s fable, The Lion and the Mouse. Share the fable with the class. Let the students choose a partner and take turns acting out the roles of the lion and the mouse. This fable is about a friendship between a very unlikely pair.
  • Create the words for an original friendship song to a familiar tune (e.g., Row, Row Your Boat, B-I-N-G-O, The Farmer in the Dell, etc.).
  • Guide the students into taking Tacky on another adventure! Ask the class to brainstorm ideas of another problem that Tacky and his companions could face, such as a polar bear invasion, or a blizzard. List student ideas on the board. Then have each student use one of the ideas to write a story, emphasizing that it should have a beginning, middle, and ending.

Assessment Plan:
Assessment is based on teacher observation of student performance and participation.

Utah LessonPlans

Created Date :
Sep 22 2004 10:27 AM

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