Friendship and Belonging

K, 1, 2

To introduce students to the need all people have for friendship and belonging. They will apply what they learn by working with a partner to create a page for a class "big book". The book will be given to another class to help them learn the importance of friendship and belonging and some methods for filling these needs at school in the form of serial reciprocity.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Thirty to Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • identify the emotions "happy, sad, calm, angry."
  • describe how they know when others are feeling these emotions.
  • identify the components of the skill of "brainstorming" and apply it in class.
  • use the cooperative group work skills of staying close to your partner, using your partner's name and sharing the work.
  • demonstrate correct capitalization and end punctuation by writing a sentence.
  • read aloud clearly and with expression.
  • Couric, Katie. The Brand New Kid. Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. Doubleday, 2000. ISBN: 0385500300
  • Sample of a "big book" (optional) (a compilation of large sheets of paper bound when pages are finished by students)
  • Large sheets of paper — one for each pair of students, minimum
  • Crayons, markers, pencils
  • Scratch paper for rough drafts of text
  • Paper for book covers
  • Supplies for binding the pages of the book (stapler, hole-punch and yarn, etc.)
  • Couric, Katie. The Brand New Kid. Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman. Doubleday, 2000. ISBN: 0385500300


  1. Anticipatory Set:Begin the lesson by asking students to identify some feelings they have had. Lead a discussion of these feelings. Some questions to facilitate discussion might include:

    • How they reacted to their feelings
    • What they did because of what they were feeling
    • How long the feelings lasted
    • Whether other people knew what they were feeling
  2. Guide the discussion toward the feelings of others and how people know what others are feeling. Talk about serial reciprocity in simple terms. Select volunteers to "act out" different feelings, such as happy, sad, angry and calm. It may be useful to make up cards or slips of paper with feelings written on them to help students decide which emotions to portray. Students identify the feelings they see their classmates acting out.

  3. Direct students to watch for the different feelings that are shown in the picture book, The Brand New Kid by Katie Couric.

  4. Read aloud from the picture book, The Brand New Kid, by Katie Couric, and guide students' comprehension with appropriate questions that help students to focus on plot, characters' feelings and illustrations. Allow time for students' reactions after finishing the book.

  5. Introduce the concept of "brainstorming," if necessary.(Brainstorming means that all answers are to be respectfully accepted. Students should listen to each other and add on to others' ideas. Students should try not to repeat ideas already given.)

  6. Students brainstorm ideas of things they can do to help create friendship and belonging at school. If it is useful, the teacher may record these ideas on chart paper.

  7. If one is available, show the "big book" sample (some example of a big book is needed), and tell students that they are going to create a "big book" to share with other students. Ask them to compare the regular-sized book with the big book. Class discusses how they are alike and how they are different. Elicit ideas of things students might need to keep in mind when they are creating a big book. These ideas might include "pictures need to be large and bright" and "text needs to be large enough to be seen from across a group."

  8. Introduce the concept of cooperative groups, if necessary. Identify the social skills that you will look for during this session. Examples of skills appropriate for this lesson are agreeing on the ideas to include on the page, sitting close together, using a quiet voice, sharing materials and sharing the work.

    • Students are paired for this activity.
    • Partners agree on which method for making friends at school they are going to illustrate. They share ideas for what to include on the page and come to consensus about how to proceed. They draw their picture.
    • Creating text for the pages needs to be done in an age-appropriate manner. Some possibilities include student dictation, computer printout, and writing the sentence on scratch paper with teacher proofreading and correction. Text is added to the pages.
  9. Reassemble the students to share the pages they have created. Ask a few volunteers to identify things that are effective about each page that is shared. If the closure session gives students ideas about additions or changes they would like to make to their pages, allow more time before binding the book.

  10. Arrange to have students share the book with another class at a later time. The book may be presented to the class for their library, if appropriate.


The product and process of the cooperatively produced "big book" page is the primary source of assessment. Listen to students talk about the process they went through to decide about what to include and how they overcame obstacles, especially if they were not confident about their abilities to draw.

Students may be assessed on their oral reading of the text on their page.

Cross Curriculum 

Read about the service-learning project called Love...Pass It On! by Indiana students who were taught using this Smiles Change the World unit of lessons to guide student learning and action.

Ms. Nolting is a 2nd grade teacher from Worthington, Indiana. "Students learn by example and firsthand experience," she said. "Service learning incorporates both of these techniques in a loving and fun way."


Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe one reason why a person might give or volunteer.