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2nd Grade - Act. 16: Who Do You Want for Your Friend?

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 2nd Grade
Standard 1


Utah LessonPlans


Students will select four characters from familiar books and determine if they have healthy or unhealthy characteristics.


  • 2–3 familiar books with a variety of types of characters, including one character who would not be a good friend (e.g., Arthur books, Clifford, Little Rabbit Foo Foo, etc.)
  • chart paper and markers
  • overhead or large chart of blank bar graph

Additional Resources

Lemonade for Sale by Stuart Murphy (bar graphs)
How to Be a Friend by Marc Brown

Background for Teachers

Students will be familiar with words such as caring, responsibility, trust, and respect. Students will be able to provide examples and nonexamples of the above words and other similar words. It is important to use books with which the students are familiar. This lesson is designed to offer an introduction to creating and reading bar graphs.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Intended Learning Outcomes
2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
3. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors.
5. Understand and use basic concepts and skills.
6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.

Process Skills
Description, data collection and interpretation, form conclusions

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn
Make a T-chart on a chart paper labeled “Relationships.” Label one side of the T-chart “healthy” and the other side “unhealthy.” Discuss elements of healthy relationships (caring, responsibility, trust, respect, etc.). Using Interactive Writing, have students write a few words on each side of the T-chart.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Read one of the stories.
  2. . After reading, call attention to the characters in the story. Did they have healthy or unhealthy characteristics or both?
  3. . As new words are introduced, add them to the chart.
  4. Repeat with one or two other books.
  5. Pose the question, “Which of the characters is the best friend?”
  6. Choose four characters to include on the graph.
  7. One by one have students fill in one box on the graph for the character they would like.
  8. When the graph is completed, ask questions such as: “Which character was picked the most?” “How many times was _____ picked?” “Which character was picked the least?” “How many more times was _____ picked than _______?”
  9. At the bottom of the graph, use Interactive Writing to write a summary sentence.
  10. Display the T-chart for reference.


Possible Extensions/Adaptations
Recommended: break this lesson into several short sessions. Students can create a friendship list in their journals. Small groups of students survey their classmates and then create a graph. Each student completes a graph along with the teacher. Students draw a self-portrait and label with the words from the T-chart. Students can write about the survey results in their journal. Move into discussion about media images (K-2 Core Objective 2e), such as characters on TV or in movies. Are the characters unhealthy behaviors glamorized? (e.g., on the Arthur cartoons, D.W. tattles on her brother.)

Family Connections
Students will take a list of three to four “healthy” words home and decide which word best describes different members of his or her family. A new class graph can be made for “Words that Describe Mom” (or another family member).

Assessment Plan

During the class discussion, which students are comfortable with the vocabulary, and which students are struggling?

During interactive writing, do most students form their letters correctly? Is spelling conventional, transitional, or phonetic?

Ask each student a question about the graph (the “how many more” type questions are the hardest). Which students are able to answer the questions quickly? Which students require prompts or modeling to answer the questions?

Created: 08/12/2003
Updated: 02/05/2018