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Lesson EIGHT Overview - Working Together


Upper Primary

Maintaining Friendships




Students will:


  • Learn important skills to maintain friendships

  • The importance of communicating effectively

  • Learn how to win and lose gracefully

  • Recognise the importance of being honest

  • Learn that friendships have ups and downs and what to do when friendships get out of balance

  • Learn how to overcome envy

  • Identify the difference between problems in their control and problems out of their control

  • Learn effective coping skills when faced with a problem

KEY VOCABULARY: trust, honesty, dishonest, gracefully, win, lose, gratitude, control



Background Information

Last week, students were taught key relationship skills to establish a friendship.  Today’s lesson focuses on maintaining friendships.  Students learn friendship tips to maintain friendships.  We look closer at winning and losing gracefully.  Students are taught that the best way to think of winning and losing games is to play to win friendship.  Students practise what to say and what to do following a win or a loss.  Students are taught about honesty and how it is one of the most important components of a healthy relationship. We explore why we sometimes are tempted to be dishonest and the consequences of being dishonest.  Furthermore, we also discuss how honesty builds trust which is the foundation for a strong and healthy relationship.


Lesson Plan

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 what it takes to be a good friend and how to make a new friend. We learned what it takes to be a good friend.  Today we are going to learn more about friendships and what we need to do to maintain our friendships.

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 One - Pig the Winner (5 minutes)

Read ‘Pig the Winner’.  After reading the story ask students:

•    How did Pig respond when he won?
•    What did Pig do to win?                 
•    How do you think it made Trevor feel?
•    Has anyone ever done that to you before? 

Not only did Pig cheat, he also didn’t win very gracefully.  The best way to think of winning and losing is to play to win friendship.  If you play to win friendship you are more likely to win and lose gracefully.  Gracefully means that you are friendly when you win or lose. If you win like Pig, your friends won’t want to play with you.  If you become angry and sulk when you lose, your friends won’t want to play with you either.  It is important to win and lose gracefully, which means remembering that winning is not the most important thing.  We sometimes win and we sometimes lose, but the most important thing is that we enjoy playing with our friends. 


Activity Two - Winning Gracefully Y Chart (5 minutes)

What does winning gracefully look like, feel like and sound like? On the whiteboard, draw a Y chart.  Students discuss about what winning gracefully looks like (shaking hands, smiling), feels like (happy, calm), and sounds like (good game). 

Write students answers on the chart.


Activity Three - Snakes and Ladders (10 minutes)

Let’s practise winning and losing gracefully by playing a game of snakes and ladders.

In pairs, play snakes and ladders.  Observe children winning and losing as they go up and down the ladders.

After the game, pose questions:

•    What was happening in the game when you were feeling happy?
•    What were you thinking when you were happy?
•    How did you feel when you went down the ladder?
•    Who had a helpful 'I can' thought?
•    Who had an unhelpful 'I can’t' thought?
•    How do unhelpful thoughts make us feel?

Our friends won’t want to play with us if we are angry or sulky.  Winning is not the most important thing, because if you get angry or sulk when you play with your friends, they won’t want to play with you.  You will end up with no one to play with.  Playing to win friendships is the most important thing. This means not getting angry if you lose, not sulking if you lose and not rubbing it in if you win.

Activity Four – Honesty (10 minutes)

It is important to always be honest.  Being honest is one of the most important qualities in a friendship.  It’s important to be honest with your Mum and Dad, your teacher, your brothers and sisters too.  If you are honest, your friends will trust you.  Who knows of the tale of Pinocchio?  Pinocchio is a story of a man named Geppetto who made wooden toys for children.  One day, he made a wooden puppet.  As soon as he had finished the puppet came alive.  ‘Why you are alive!’, He said, ‘I shall call you Pinocchio and you shall be the son I never had!’.  But something happened to Pinocchio when he lied, let’s watch a short video.

girl playing soccer.jpg

Play the game Pinocchio’s Lie.  Give each student a picture of Pinocchio.  Place blocks and cards in the middle of the circle.  Taking turns, each student picks a card and reads out the scenario.  If the scenario involved dishonesty, the student places a block on Pinocchio’s nose.  Once all the cards have been read, the student with the smallest nose is the winner.  After each card is read, take the opportunity to discuss the importance of honesty.

Activity Six - Friendship is Like a Seesaw (5 minutes)

The aim of this activity is to teach children that all relationships have their ups and downs.

Read Friendship is Like a Seesaw.


All friendships have their ups and downs. Friendship is a little bit like a seesaw. When a friendship is out of balance there are ways to help the friendship become balanced again. 


Discussion questions

1.  What do good friends do?

2.  Why are friendships like seesaws?

3.  What happens when the friendship gets out of balance?

4.  What can we do when a friendship gets out of balance?

5.  Who would like to share a time their friendship was out of balance?  

Activity Seven - 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 here. 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 let it go.  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.

Draw a circle on the board. In the first circle write 'In My Control'.  Write, 'Out of My Control' outside of the circle.  Ask the students to think of problems that are in and out of their control.

Circle of control - instagram.png

Read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

We read about Alexander in lesson six and we used the 'How Big is My Problem Scale' to put things into perspective.  Today 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 others words, we can choose to take a deep breath and let it go.

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) versus hating lima beans (in his control because it is his opinion).

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 Eight - Friendship Jenga (10 minutes)

We are going to play a game of 'Friendship Jenga'.  First, we need to build a tower. Taking turns, you need to try and move a piece and hope that you aren't the one who makes the tower fall. On each Jenga block is a friendship skill.  I would like you to read out the friendship skill on the block you remove. 

Discuss the importance of each friendship skill with the group.

Concluding Discussion 

A good friend is someone you can have lots of fun with.  You can be a good friend by listening and sharing the talking, by playing fairly and being honest, by winning and losing gracefully and by being helpful and kind.  Sometimes, we may make a mistake.  We all make mistakes.  It’s important to apologize to your friend if you make a mistake and also forgive your friend for making a mistake too.  Next week, we are going to learn how to solve conflicts with our friends.  Disagreements happen in every friendship and we will learn helpful and unhelpful ways to solve conflicts. 

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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