Saturday, August 18, 2012

Making Friends with Spotlight Blogger–Barbara Gruener from The Corner on Character


spotlight bloggerWelcome back to Raki's Rad Resources for our latest Spotlight Blogger.  My family and I are camping right now, and we are taking a break from all screens in an effort to recharge our batteries and get ready for the new school year.  While we are gone, I hope you are enjoying the spotlight bloggers who have agreed to guest blog for me.  Be sure to pin the posts you like, as the spotlight blogger with the most pins on their post will win a special prize!  And then, please stop by their blogs and see all the awesome things they have to offer you.


Greetings from The Corner on Character. Thanks, Heidi, for inviting me to stop by and talk about one of my favorite topics - FRIENDS.

As school inches nearer, I'm excited about another chance to facilitate those budding friendships in the upcoming school year. An important focus as you grow your class families is helping your kids connect with one another and build relationships. To make the abstract concept of friendship a bit more tangible, consider making a Friendship Kit with your little learners. Prior to the lesson, put the items below (and a list of what each represents) into a clear sandwich baggie. Before showing students the items in the Kit, ask them what they might put into a Friendship Kit if they were making one and why. 

After they share their ideas, show them your pre-fab Kit but don't tell them what each item represents yet. Instead, pull out the items one by one and ask how that particular item might represent friendship. Stress that there are no right and wrong answers so that students will feel free to share what comes to mind. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the interesting and insightful answers that you get. One third-grade answer amazed me: “Just like a button holds a shirt together and makes it whole, your friend completes you." After you’ve gone through all of the items, share this list and see how closely they came to what the item represents.
Friendship Kit - Teaching Kids about Friendship

*A Button: Friends "button up" and keep one another's secrets, unless it's a hurtful secret. This is a great time to talk about the kinds of secrets friends don't keep!
*A Rock: Friends are a strong and rock-solid support.
*A Penny:  Friends are honest like Abe, the President on the coin.
*A Cotton Ball: Friends cushion the rough road.
*A Rubber Band: Friends sometimes stretch us.
*Sweet & Sour Tarts: Friends appreciate the differences in others.
*A Smiley Face Sticker: Friends stick together.
*A Bandage: Friends can help heal hurts.
*A Paper Clip: Friends help keep everything together.
*A Flashlight Keychain: Friends are key and add light to our world.

If you have a budget, you can actually purchase the items in bulk and let the students make a Friendship Kit for themselves. When I did this, it cost about 10 cents per kit.

A book to complement this activity is Our Friendship Rules by Peggy Moss and Dee Dee Tardif.

It's kind of a guidebook for relationships. I've used it in my counseling office when mediating those triangle friendships, when two pair off and one feels left out. As a follow-up exercise, ask students to write a paragraph or talk about these words of wisdom:
"To have a friend, you've got to be a friend."
Click {here} for a Friendship Treasure Hunt and {here} for a freebie download about Trustworthiness, our Friendship Pillar. What’s your favorite Friendship book and activity?