Lesson SEVEN - Mission Friendship


Middle Primary 

Positive Friendships



Students will:


  • learn about the concept of positive, healthy friendships

  • understand the importance of having good friends 

  • explore the difference between healthy and unhealthy friendships

  • explore strategies to deal with difficult situations in their friendships

KEY VOCABULARY: sharing, taking turns, friendly, unfriendly, accepting others, honesty, friend, toxic, self-esteem.


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 the importance of positive friendships and how they can evaluate their friendships to see if the friendship is toxic.  Students also explore ways to deal with difficult situations in their friendships.

Lesson Plan

1.    Introduce Lesson and Review Previous Lesson

Review previous session 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 talked about standing up to worry bullies.  Did anyone stand up to a worry bully last week? 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.  We will start our lesson with a gratitude attitude.

2.    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.

3.    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?


4.    Activity 2: Wanted: Good Friend (10 minutes)


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. 


Why is it important to have good friends? Allow time to respond and encourage all students to participate in the discussion.


We are going to play a game called friend or foe.  Has anyone heard of the word 'foe' before?  Foe means someone who is unfriendly.  We will take turns, choosing a card and reading it to the group.  After you have read the card, you need to tell me if it is something that a friend would do or a foe.

You are now going to create a poster to advertise that you are looking for a new friend who will be a true friend.  On the top of your page, write 'Wanted: Good Friend'. Draw a picture of the type of friend you are looking for and write around the picture the important traits that make them a good friend. For example, must be friendly.

Students make Wanted: Good Friend posters with scrap paper.

5.  Activity 3: Toxic Friends (5 minutes) 

Unfortunately, some friendships are toxic.  What is a toxic friend?  A toxic friend pretends to be a good friend, when in fact they are not a true friend. Should you stay friends with a toxic friend? Allow time to respond.  If you feel like your friendship is toxic, you don't have to stay friends with that person.  Your well-being and your safety is important and should be your priority.  Can you think of something a toxic friend would do?  Write answers on board. 


  • Talks behind your back

  • Is dishonest

  • Jealous of your successes

  • Jealous of other friendships

  • Demanding

  • Puts you down

  • Lies to you

Has anyone had a toxic friend? Allow time for discussion.

6.  Activity 4: Warning signs that a friendship is turning toxic (10 minutes)

In pairs, students read through scenarios and decide which scenario is a sign of a healthy friendship or an unhealthy friendship.  Students place the scenario on the traffic lights (red: unhealthy, orange: warning sign, green: healthy).

How do you know if your friendship is toxic? There are signs to look for that tell you if your friendship is unhealthy or toxic.  In pairs, you will need to read through the scenarios and decide if the scenario card is an example of a healthy relationship, or a warning sign that it is heading towards unhealthy or it is unhealthy.  Place the scenario cards that are examples of a healthy relationship on the green traffic light. Place the scenario cards that are examples of warning signs that the relationship is turning unhealthy on the orange light. Place the scenario cards of examples of an unhealthy relationship on the red traffic light.  You need to decide together.  We will discuss as a group after you have had time together in your pair. 

After 10 minutes working in pairs, ask students to share their thoughts of unhealthy and healthy signs of a friendship.

Strategies to deal with a toxic friendship.

Pose question:

What should you do if your friendship is unhealthy and toxic? Record answers on board.

If you find yourself in a toxic relationship, your safety and well-being should be your priority. You may decide to take a break from the friendship or find different friends to spend your time with.  

7.     Activity 5: 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. 

8.     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


Let's practise making a new friend.


Role Play scenario.

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

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

  3. A new boy/girl moves into your neighbourhood.  

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

9.    Concluding Discussion (5 minutes)

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 a friendly person, 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 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.