To help students understand true friendship, students will listen to two read alouds, Big Al by Andrew Clements (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1997) and The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (North-South Books, 1995). Students will work as a whole-group to discuss and write valuable friendship traits that were seen in the books.
Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
paper for student responses
1. Begin to discuss the playground and what do you do on the playground. Lead the discussion to friends and how we have fun with friends on the playground and other places.
2. Tell the students that we will be learning about friendship through two books about fish. The first one being Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. This book will show them some great ways to friends can act and some ways that may hurt our feelings.
3. Read the Rainbow Fish to the students. Discuss various ways friendship may
4. On chart paper have a heading read, "What do we want our friends to be like?"
5. Encourage students to tell you what they want their friends to be like. Encourage them to also tell you how they feel when a friend acts that way. Write down students' responses. After you write each child's response write the name of who told you after it. This gives that child ownership and encourages others to participate.
6. Review the various responses and encourage or remind students of anything they are missing by using parts from the book.
7. Tell students that tomorrow we will reading about another fish who had some difficulties with friends.
1. Have chart paper ready with two columns, "What is Big Al like on the outside?" and "What is Big Al like on the inside?"
2. Begin the read aloud by discussing Rainbow Fish and the chart. Ask the students to share if they have seen any friends showing these traits.
3. Show them the book, Big Al. Point out who Big Al is on the cover. Have the students compare the looks of the two fish. (Big Al is the very ugly, scary fish, who actually is very kind.) See what students' original opinion of Big Al is.
4. During reading and after reading, have students help you complete the chart.
5. After reading and completing the chart, compare the Rainbow Fish Friend Traits and the Big Al Chart. Ask if Big Al has any of those traits? Discuss with students if they would like to be Big Al's friend. Discuss how what you do and say is much more important than how you look.
6. Tell students since we have looked at different ways to be great friends, how can they be great friends.
7. Have students write and illustrate how he or she can be a good friend.
8. Share these with the class in a class meeting.
Extensions and Adaptations
After the lesson the teacher may ask students to share any ways they are seeing their friends showing friendship during class meetings.