Wall of Friendship

Arrange the class in small groups of 4 or 5 with blocks to build a wall; alternatively this activity can be done diagrammatically with the whole class with “post it” notes or using the interactive white board.

Begin by explaining that each group is going to build a wall of friendship, but first they must decide what goes into their wall. They are going to write onto the blocks (“post-it” notes) words that describe the qualities that make a good friend. The teacher could give pupils some starting blocks such as:

  • A friend is someone who is good at…
  • A good friend can…
  • A good friend will always…

The pupils should decide on what other blocks they need to build a strong relationship. Their suggestions should be written on pieces of paper and attached to the blocks or recorded directly onto the whiteboard.

The teacher could then ask what might break down this wall of friendship?  Ask the children to write down the kinds of things people do when they’re not being a good friend. (ie. telling tales, not sharing, being bossy, pushing, hurting etc) These notes could be written onto different coloured post-its and put up on the wall.

Wall of Friendship Booklet or Poster

To complete the activity either as a whole class or in smaller groups discuss how they think the wall of friendship can be kept strong.

What can friends do or say to each other if they want to stay friends?
If you don’t like what a friend is doing or saying what can you do about it?

The class could then produce their own class booklet or poster that lists and illustrates the strategies that they have come up with. The final product could be reproduced for each child to keep or to put up around the school and classroom.

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Circle of Friends

To complete the following activity you will need to download this worksheet.

  1. Write your name, draw yourself or take a digital photo and print it out, stick it in the middle circle.
  2. In the next circle out, put two of your friends.
  3. In the third circle out, put two new friends of each of your friends in the previous circle.
  4. In the next circle put two friends for each of the friends in the third circle. (The number of friends doubles with each ring)

  • How many circles would you need to have to include the whole class?
  • Who are your friends?
  • What do you like about being with them?
  • How do we choose friends?
  • How do we make friends?
  • How do we decide to be friends with someone?
  • Does it matter who else they are friends with?
  • Does it matter what they look like?
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Who can support me?

Aim: To identify how to get the best support from different people
Time allocation: 30 minutes

Teacher notes : You can make up some role cards for the children to choose from or work with them to find this out in one group. This section can be done in two sessions to get the most out of the activity.  Divide everyone into groups of 3 or 4. Give some possible problems to each group relating to their age group.

Examples of problems:

  1. Someone has borrowed my favourite toy but hasn’t returned it.
  2. I haven’t been invited to a classmate’s birthday party, but my friends have.
  3. I borrowed my friend’s toy and now it has stopped working. I am worried I have broken it!
  4. Some of my friends are boys/girls [opposite sex]. I’ve stopped playing with them at school because I’m afraid I will be teased, and this is making them cross with me.
  5. I feel lonely because I don’t have any friends in school
  6. I am being bullied and am too frightened to tell anyone

Within the group create a short role play to highlight the problem and share it with the whole class. Using the advice of the whole class, try to create new role plays to find ways of getting support /advice for the person who has the problem. Which people or suggestions worked best? OR

Decide who is the best person to talk to for each problem and write them an ‘agony aunt’ style letter. Working together, get each group to write a reply letter offering advice and support. Read them out to the whole class. Was the advice any good?

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Aim: To know individuals and groups who can support you
Time allocation: 15 minutes

List all the people you have a relationship with.

Relationships have different feelings. You will have different emotions at various times and with different people.

Think about how you respond to each one. When you have questions or are confused about relationships or growing up, it is important to talk to people who can help and support you.

  • Who do you consider supports you and how?
  • Who do you help and support?

Are there any adults you support sometimes?
List the ways you can support your teacher or parents/ carers.

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A healthy life

What makes a ‘healthy’ life

Aim: To discuss the emotional and physical aspects that are important in maintaining a healthy life.
Time allocation: 20 minutes

In a group discuss why each item listed below is important for them. Ask which one they believe is the most important to sustain a healthy life and why. Are there different ways of interpreting ‘healthy’? Has anyone picked up on the importance of a healthy mind or emotional well-being as well as physical health?

It may be a good idea to write each one on a card so that the group can place them in order of importance, such as:

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What does ‘love’ mean to me?

Aim: to think about what it means to love a person.
Time allocation: 30 minutes.

Get the pupils to write stories/poems about:  

  • something they love and care about
  •  someone they love and care about and
  • someone who loves and cares about them

Discuss the differences between loving a thing and a person and encourage the pupils to share what they have written.

You could develop further discussion about:

  • The way a loving relationship can grow and change, especially during adolescence
  • Their ideas about what it means to be ‘in love’ or to ‘fancy’ someone
  • This could lead on to further work about puberty, body changes, sexuality etc.
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Strong feelings

How can I cope with having strong feelings?

Aim: to identify strength of feeling connected to particular people and events and how we deal with these feelings.
Time allocation: 40 minutes.

Discuss different types of emotions with the class and try to get the pupils to recall times when they may have experienced some of these. How strong was the feeling, how long did it last and how did they cope?

Ask the children to draw a ‘circle of strong feelings’ based on their own experiences (or those of others). Write the various emotions around the circle (hate, love, anger, frustration, jealousy etc) and write/draw people and events connected to those emotions. Some examples would be:

Cross-curricular links:
Using their own circle of feelings, pupils can develop role-play, writing, poems and stories based on their experiences. What were the events that led to the strong feelings and how did they deal with them? Were any adults able to help them? Did they listen and understand or did they ignore them? Were any friends able to help?

You could also consider how pupils might respond to other people’s strong feelings. How would they/ do they deal with adult’s strong feelings?

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