In today's lesson I will engage my students in a discussion about friends. I will prompt them to ask and answer questions about how we can be a good friend. At the end of the lesson my students will write an opinion sentence about a friend and draw a picture to illustrate themselves and their friend. The common core states that kindergarten students should learn the different types of writing in order to respond to literature. My students need to be able to voice their opinion and then use facts to support that opinion. This activity is only voicing their opinion. Later in the year we will begin to support our opinions. In the upper grades, many assignments and assessments will require my students to write about their opinion. Today's lesson is one of many lessons that will lay the foundation for this skill.
My students are seated on the carpet ready for whole group reading block.
"I am so excited to tell you about my best friend. My best friend is a girl. We like to talk on the phone and do fun things together. We went to school together and have many funny stories that we like to talk about. Last night my friend and I got together and made bracelets. We sat down at the kitchen table and made our bracelets and we talked and laughed. We did not yell at each other. We did not hit each other. We did not take beads away from each other. We helped each other. We are nice to each other. A friend is someone who is nice to you. Do you have a friend?"
I ask each student if they have a friend and what they do with their friend.
"I like to be with my friend. I like to be with you. You are my new friends. Let me teach you a friends song."
Friends, friends 1, 2, 3,
All my friends are here with me.
You're my friend, You're my friend, You're my friend
Friends, friends 1, 2, 3,
All my friends are here with me.
(I looked on You Tube for someone singing this song and found only a partial clip. Sorry.)
"If someone is your friend what would they do? Would they play with you? Would they help you? Tell me what a friend is like."
We talk again about what makes a friend. We come up with many ways someone could be a friend.
"Today I want to read to you a book named; Jazzbo and Googy. Can you say Jazzbo? Jazzbo. Can you say Googy? Googy. Those are the names of two friends at school. At first Jazzbo is only friends with his teddy bear. He does everything with his teddy bear. Can a teddy bear do EVERYTHING? No. People are our friends not teddy bears. That is silly. Jazzbo goes to school and he takes his teddy bear with him. Let's find out if he makes a new friend ."
"Look there is Jazzbo going to school. Is he playing with any friends? No, he is only playing with his teddy bear."
We talk about the picture details and how Jazzbo does not have friends.
"Look at Googy, he wants friends but he keeps making a _____ what does Googy make? A mess! That's right. What does the teacher have to help him do? Clean up the mess. Hmm, I wonder if Jazzbo and Googy will ever make a friend."
"What could Jazzbo and Googy do to make friends? They could swing together. What else could they do? They could clean up messes together. Let's read some more and see what happens. I hope they find a friend."
I finish the story.
"So what happened at the end? Jazzbo and Googy became friends. YAY! I am so happy. I was so worried that they would never find a friend."
"Let's write about a friend. Everyone think really hard. Who is your friend? We will use the sentence frame; I like _______ . He/she is ______. Hmm, what makes a person a friend? Let's draw a bubble map and fill it with words that tell about our friends."
"Let's draw a circle map and write words that describes a friend. A describing word is an adjective. We fill a lot of bubbles with adjectives about our friends"
I go up and down the row getting adjectives that describe a friend from each of my students. When we are finished writing adjectives we will echo read them so everyone knows what the bubbles say. I like to use bubble maps to organize my students thoughts and ideas. I leave the bubble map up during the writing process.
"Now that we have our adjectives we can fill in our sentence frames and write our sentences. I will model it under the document camera. First I will write. I like Liz. Liz is the name of my friend. Then I will write a sentence with a describing word. She is funny. I wrote that she is funny because she makes me laugh. I wrote two sentences. One sentence tells you who my friend is. The second sentence tells you why I like her. Now I will draw a picture of me and my friend Liz. It is now your turn to write sentences."
"Will my class paper passers pass out the writing papers? Purple row go get you pencil boxes, Blue row, Green row, Orange row and Red row. I will come around to see how you are doing and if you need help. I will have to use a highlighter to help my lower students write their sentences.
When the students are finished writing, I have them sit on the carpet to read library books quietly.
We gather on the carpet after cleaning up the books.
"Today we wrote about a friend. I am so glad to see that you all have a friend here at school. I will call you up to read your sentences to the class."
I am short on time today and need to hurry the reading along. I call a row at a time to read their sentences. They stood in front of the class and they read their sentences one at a time. I stood behind them to prompt them with their reading. Not only did the presentations go fast but many of my shy students read with out hesitation. When there was a hesitation, the friend standing next to him helped him read. I was so surprised at how well the presentations went when done by row and not by individuals. Each student was given the opportunity to read their sentences. We applauded and cheered after each reading.