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Lesson SEVEN - Mission Friendship


Lower Primary 

Positive Friendships



Students will:

  • learn about the concept of positive, healthy friendships

  • understand the importance of having good friends

  • Identify qualities in a friend

  • explore the difference between healthy and unhealthy friendships

  • Practice initiating play


KEY VOCABULARY: sharing, taking turns, friendly, unfriendly, accepting others, honesty, welcoming, friend.



Background Information

Friendships provide critical support for a child’s social and emotional well-being. School can be a lonely place without a friend. There are key relationship skills needed to establish and maintain healthy relationships.  Social skills, like any other skill, need to be taught and practised. Children who have friends at school feel more connected and are less likely to be bullied. Today’s lesson teaches students important friendship skills including, sharing, accepting others, initiating play, starting conversations, taking turns, winning and losing, welcoming others and honesty.  Students participate in role-plays to practise these skills. Furthermore, students look at friendly and unfriendly behaviour and what is a true friend.  Most importantly, students learn that to have a friend you need to be a friend.

Lesson Plan

Introduce Lesson and Review Previous Lesson

Review the previous sessions by asking students to remember what was covered in the last session. Shape students’ responses to reflect the learning intent from the previous lesson. Revise Group guidelines.

Welcome back.  Last week we learned how to manage our worries. Today, we are going to learn about what it takes to be a good friend.  We all need friends and we are going to learn what it takes to be a good friend.  

A Gratitude Attitude (5 minutes) 

Sit in a circle. Ask each student to share something that they are grateful for or something positive that has happened to them this week. This simple activity is training students to be positive and to have a gratitude attitude.

A gratitude attitude focuses on the NOW!  Try to pay attention and be thankful for what you already have and not worry about what you don’t have.  People with a gratitude attitude are positive, resilient and happy.

Activity 1: Friendly Behaviours (10 minutes)

To have a friend, you need to be a friend.  This means that to have good friendships you must treat your friends how you want your friends to treat you.  You need to practise friendly behaviours.  I am going to share a story with you today about how to keep all your friends. Oh no! I picked up the wrong book!  I picked up the book about how to LOSE all your friends. That’s okay, let’s read it anyway but please don’t follow any of the rules in the book!

Read ‘How to Lose All Your Friends’, by Nancy Carlson

Discussion Questions:

1. What was the story about?
2. What happened in the story?
3. What were some of the unfriendly behaviours?
4. What happened in the end?


Activity 2: Do’s and Donut’s of Making a Friend (10 minutes)

When we get along with our friends we enjoy our day and have fun.  Learning to get along with friends is one of the important reasons why you go to school.  We go to school to learn to read and write and we also go to school to learn how to get along with other people.

​Pose questions:

What does it mean to get along?

It is important to remember that we need to get along with people we may not necessarily like. Why do you think it is important to get along with everyone?

In our story, we read about unfriendly behaviours. If you treat your friends the way the kids in the story treated their friends, what do you think would happen?  Yes, you would end up lonely, with no friends. 

We are going to play a game called the ‘Do’s and Donut’s of Making Friends.

​​Students take turns reading their donuts and determine whether the behaviour is a friendship Do (would help someone make and/ or keep friends) or a friendship Donut (prevent someone from making and/or keeping friends). The student should explain their reasoning. The student places the donut into the correct donut box.

Activity 3: To have a Friend, Be a Friend (5 minutes)

Using the feelings cards from Lesson 4, place the sad, happy, angry and worried feelings card in each corner of the room.  Play music for the children to dance to, stop the music and read out a friendly or unfriendly scenario and ask the students to think how they would feel if that happened to them.

Let's play a game.  I have placed my feelings cards around the room. I am going to play music for you to dance to.  When the music stops, I will read out a friendly or unfriendly scenario.  I want you to think about how you would feel if it happened to you.  For example, if I read out, 'Your friend calls you a mean name', I want you to go to the feelings card that describes how you would feel. 

  1. You are playing a game of soccer at playtime.  Your friend loses the game so sulks and won’t talk to you. 

  2. You and your friend are playing snakes and ladders and your friend rolls the dice and quickly changes it to a higher number.

  3. Some older kids start calling you names.  Your friend comes over and tells them to stop calling you names.

  4. You get a lot of your spelling words wrong in your spelling test.  Your friend asks you if they can help you learn your words.

  5. You are playing a game of handball with your friend.  Your friend wins and does the loser dance to you.

  6. You are eating your lunch with your friend and you drop your popcorn on the ground.  Your friend helps you pick up the popcorn.

  7. You are spending your lunch break in the library, your friend sees another friend and leaves the library without telling you.


Ask students if they have a scenario to share.


By putting yourself in ‘someone else’s shoes’ you are able to think about how they are feeling.  This is called empathy.  Empathy is about understanding other people’s feelings.  If a friend looks sad and hurt, think about how you would feel in the same situation. 

Activity 4: Circle of Control (10 minutes)

​There are some things in life that I have control over, like what I ate for breakfast this morning. There are some things I don't have control over, like the person who was driving so slow in front of me on the way to the shops this morning.

It's important that I know the difference.  If I think my breakfast is gross, that's a problem.  But it's a problem that I can fix by making something different.  The person driving slow in front of me is a problem I can't fix, but I don't have to be angry or cranky about it.  I can choose to take a deep breath and shake it off.

We are now going to talk about problems that we have at home and school that are inside our control and problems that are outside of our control. I want you to know the difference so that you can become better problem solvers. It is also important to know the difference between what is in your control and what isn't in your control when it comes to dealing with your friends. 

​First, we are going to read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. After we read the story we are going to look at Alexander's problems and think about if they are in his control or out of his control.  Remember, if something is in our control, we can find a way to fix the problem.  But if something is out of our control, like other people's words, we can choose to take a deep breath and shake it off and let it go.

​Read the story 'Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day'.


kids together.jpg

Let's look through the story again and decide what problems were inside Alexander's control and what problems were outside of his control.

Draw a circle on the board. In the first circle write 'In My Control'.  Write, 'Out of My Control' outside of the circle.  Invite students to, one at a time, choose a card and read out the problem before deciding if it is inside or outside of Alexander's control. Focus on some of the nuanced ones like 'lima beans for dinner' (out of his control) verses 'hating lima beans' (in his control because it is his opinion). Flip through the book as you ask the questions.

Pose questions:

Can you think of something that was outside of your control today?

Can you think of something that was inside of your control today?

What did you do?

Did you solve the problem?

How did it make you feel?

What could you do next time?

Activity 5: Shake it Off (10 minutes)

We are now going to make a Circle of Control Turkey to remind you to shake off the things that you can't control. What I mean by this is to let go and say 'never mind it's out of my control'. Just like a turkey would shake off or let go of its feathers. We are going to write things that are out of our control in the feathers and things that are in our control on the turkey's tummy.


Students complete craft activities.


Activity 6: Mission Friendship Role Plays (10 minutes)

It is important to be a good friend.  You are unique and you have special talents and interests. It is important to remember that you can have different friends who may share your different interests.  You may have friends at school, in your neighbourhood, at your tennis club, drama club or in your family.  You may like to have a best friend, but it is good to have other friends too. You can still be friends with someone and play with other people too.  

If you have no one to play with, you need to be brave and make a new friend.  The way you choose to join in on a game can look friendly or unfriendly.  If you act in a friendly way, others will more likely want you to join in. 


How can you show that you are friendly? 


Why is it important to follow the rules of the game you have asked to join?


There are 5 simple steps to follow to make a new friend. Share and talk through the Mission Friendship poster.


Let's practise making a new friend.


Role Play scenario.

You see a boy/girl from your school at the park.  

It's your first training session and you don't know any of the other children.  

A new boy/girl moves into your neighbourhood.  

You are at a party and don't know many of the children.

You join a new club and don't know any of the other children.

You have started at a new school.

Concluding Discussion 

Remember, the only way to have great friends is to be a great friend.  This means that we need to practice friendly behaviours with our friends.  If we show others that we are friendly, they will want to play with us.  Friendly behaviours include sharing, taking turns and being honest with our friends.  Letting other children join in your game is also friendly.  If other children see you letting other kids join in, they will think you are a friendly person. It is also important that we don’t get angry when we lose a game, as a true winner can be friendly when they win or lose.  Good luck making a new friend this week.  I can’t wait to hear how you go!


Close the session: Thank the group for their participation throughout the session.  Encourage them to practice the new skills they learned during the week.  Share with the group an exciting activity that they will do during the next GRIT lesson.

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