A true friend is the greatest of all blessings. – François de La Rochefoucauld
July 30th is International Friendship Day. This is a time to celebrate friendships and consider what it means to be a good friend. Discuss this with young children to help them understand the importance of being a good friend, and to think about what kind of friend they are themselves.
- Read Lizzie and the Birds by Dawn Robertson. This many layered picture book explores the themes of love, friendship and trust. This gentle story is packed with humour, lots of chirping heroes, bird-banter and the message that true friendship comes in many different shapes and sizes!
- Discuss the text after reading. Who were the characters? What happened in the text? What did you learn about friendship? What are friends? What are friends like? What is a good friend?
- Brainstorm a list on the board with a bank of words about positive qualities that good friends should have. Read through the words with your pupils and ensure they know what each word means.
- Provide each pupil with a white cloud shape (pre-cut for younger pupils) or ask them to draw their own to fill an A4 sheet of paper (drawn cloud shapes should then be cut out). The pupils write their names in the centre of the cloud.
- Provide the pupils with strips of different coloured paper. Ask them to select words from the board (positive qualities) that they think they have, that makes them a good friend. They then should write each word on a different strip of coloured paper.
- The pupils then glue or staple their rainbow of positive qualities to the bottom of the cloud. Hang to display.
- Older, or more capable pupils, could be more discriminating in the type of words they write on particular coloured strips of paper. They might write five positive qualities they now have on the red, orange, yellow green and blue strips; then on the indigo and purple strips pupils can write positive qualities they are working on (or need to work on).
How do you celebrate friendship in your classroom?
Lizzie and the Birds
This many layered picture book explores the themes of love, friendship and trust. Enter a rag-taggle group of tweeting, squawking birds who could be the answer to all of Lizzie’s problems, if only she can persuade her cat, Buster not to eat them, and her dad to share their house with them. What could be easier! Can her brand new feathery friends, like Rainbow Bird, Cheeky, Chif and Chaf, Egglet and Crow, really help Lizzie save their beloved tree and fill her life with fun? Well, what would you do to save your friends?
- Oral language skills
- Writing skills
- Grammar and punctuation
- Reading skills
Accompanying Teacher Guide with detailed classroom activities is also available.
This gentle story is packed with humour, lots of chirping heroes, bird-banter and the message that true friendship comes in many different shapes and sizes!
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