Main Core Tie
Social Studies - 2nd Grade
This lesson explores what qualities make a good friend. This is a way to help students become aware of positive and inappropriate behaviors.
- 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
Intended Learning Outcomes
2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.
Invitation to Learn
Today we are going to talk about what you like and don't like in a
Do you have a best friend? What do you like best about him/her?
- 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.)
- After reading, begin a student discussion about Tacky's unusual
behavior, recording answers on the appropriate side of the
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."
- Let students share how the qualities they possess help them to
overcome everyday situations.
- 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
- Instruct the students to open up the wings and on Tacky's
belly, list Tacky's qualities that are discovered when the
- Let the students share their penguins. Ask each student to give an
explanation for one of the positive qualities that Tacky possessed.
- Because friends are important, I want you to think about what you
like and don't like in a friend.
- Create a "Good Friends Do These Things" / "Good Friends Try
Not To Do These Things" T-chart on the board.
- Read the Behavior Word Strips. After the class comes to
a consensus, place the strips under the appropriate side of the
- Summarize the lesson.
- 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,
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.)
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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,
- 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 is based on teacher observation of student performance