Lesson SEVEN - Mission Friendship
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL COMPETENCY: Social-Awareness
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
Learn how to overcome envy
KEY VOCABULARY: sharing, taking turns, friendly, unfriendly, accepting others, honesty, friend, toxic, self-esteem, empathy, envy
How to Lose All Your Friends, by Nancy Carlson
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.
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.
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.
Why is it important to have good friends? Allow time to respond and encourage all students to participate in the discussion.
When we get along with our friends we enjoy our day. 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.
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?
Using the feelings cards from Lesson 4, place the sad, happy, angry and worried feelings card in each corner of the room. Readout 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 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.
You are playing a game of soccer at playtime. Your friend loses the game so sulks and won’t talk to you.
You and your friend are playing snakes and ladders and your friend rolls the dice and quickly changes it to a higher number.
Some older kids start calling you names. Your friend comes over and tells them to stop calling you names.
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.
You are playing a game of handball with your friend. Your friend wins and does the loser dance to you.
You are eating your lunch with your friend and you drop your popcorn on the ground. Your friend helps you pick up the popcorn.
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 an awareness and understanding of the emotions of others. To have empathy for another person means you can see a situation from their point of view.
Activity 2: 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
Jealous of your successes
Jealous of other friendships
Puts you down
Lies to you
Has anyone had a toxic friend? Allow time for discussion.
Activity 3: 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 of working in pairs, ask students to share their thoughts of unhealthy and healthy signs of a friendship.
Pose Question: Should you stay friends with a toxic friend? Allow time to respond and discuss.
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.
Pose the question: What should you do if your friendship is unhealthy and toxic?
Allow time to respond and discuss.
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.
So how do you leave a toxic friendship?
No one deserves to be treated badly, let alone you! The first step in ending a toxic friendship is letting your friend know that you don’t like the way they are treating you. If your friend is putting you down, you can say, ‘I don’t like the way you put me down. Unless that changes, I can’t be your friend anymore’. If your friend talks about you behind your back, you can say, ‘I don’t like the way you talk about me behind my back. Unless that changes, I can’t be your friend anymore'. If your friend leaves you out of games, you can say, ‘I don’t like the way you leave me out of some games. Unless that changes, I can’t be your friend anymore’.
And if nothing changes. It’s time to make friends with someone who will treat you well. Make a list of kids you could link up with. Think of kids at your school who have similar interests to you. Friendships take time and effort so you may like to ask your new friend to join you outside of school time.
Remember, to have a friend you need to be a good friend so make sure you are treating your friends the way you would like your friends to treat you!
Activity 4: 5 Steps to Making a New Friend (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.
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.
Activity 5 - Overcoming Envy (5 minutes)
The aim of this activity is to teach children how to recognise the feeling of envy and how to overcome it. If students confuse envy and jealousy, explain that jealousy is the reaction to the threat of losing something whereas envy is the reaction to wanting something someone else has.
Envy is a normal feeling that you may feel from time to time. Can anyone tell me what the word envy means? Allow time to respond. Envy or feeling envious is the feeling you get when you want something that another person has. Envy is an unpleasant feeling. You may feel envious of someone else's success, belongings, appearance, abilities or family situation. By recognising when you are feeling envious, you can manage the unhappy feelings you are experiencing by using the strategies I am going to teach you to overcome the feelings by using envy ninjas to kick envy out of your life!
Share the envy ninja posters with the group, allowing time for group discussion. Explain to students that they will find Envy Ninjas in their journals.
1. Shifting your focus. Instead of focusing on what other people have, shift your focus from what other people have to all the good things you have. If you are feeling envious, you are taking for granted your own blessings. You may find it helpful to draw or write down all of your blessings.
2. Gratitude attitude. Start and end each day with a gratitude attitude. People who practise gratitude every day are less likely to feel envious.
3. Comparison is the thief of joy! Remember nobody has it all. Envious thoughts are negative thoughts that often compare the best assumptions of what we think of somebody else to the worst of what we think of ourselves.
4. Celebrate other people's success. Life is not a competition. The only competition you should have in your life is with yourself!
5. Avoid people who value the wrong things.
Activity 6: To have a Friend, Be a Friend (10 minutes)
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.
Let’s brainstorm traits that make a good friend.
Good Friends are:
Safe to be around
Happy when you succeed
Generous with their time
Students make Wanted: Good Friend posters with scrap paper.
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 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.
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.