Friendships United

with Diversity

 

Table of Contents

 

Overview and Rational

Teacher Background Information

Unit Planning Chart

Organization and Subject Matter/

Goals and Objectives

Learning Activities Bank- 1 2 3 4

Assessment

Appendix

 

 

Overview and Rational

 

This unit is designed to teach students the importance of being a friend. Developing friendships in elementary school is as important as learning how to read, write and add/subtract. Children need to learn how to get along with others, how to resolve conflicts on their own and how to create friendships. The students will learn the qualities and characteristics that help to contribute to a good friendship. Some of the qualities they will learn are valuing themselves and appreciating the differences and similarities of others. The students will learn to cooperate and communicate by sharing and working with others that are different from themselves.

This unit on friendship is directed toward kindergarten and first grade classes. The unit teaches students that they can be friends with many people of different race, background, age, size and intelligence. I want the students to learn to get along and appreciate one another. Students (even at a young age) need to realize that interpersonal relationships in our society are essential. Children need to learn that all people are important and learning to appreciate others will enrich their lives. Teaching students how to be friends and how to get along with others who are different will prove beneficial for a well-rounded and educated people. Students will learn to be just in an unjust world by learning that all people are equal and have the right to be treated and treat others as they themselves wish to be treated.

Along with students learning to be just in an unjust world they will learn to be fair. There is nothing that can be perfectly fair in our world but it is important for children to learn that they can be non-discriminatory toward others. Students need to learn ways of being just and fair with those closest to them, which are their friends, family, neighbors, classmates and other people in their community.

The national standards from the National Council of Social Studies that are used in this unit are: give examples and describe the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups (I e), explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities and perspectives (IV f), and work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals (IV h). These standards are important for kindergartener and first graders to learn so they may know that they are important as individuals and they can get along with others that are different from them.

The state standards that are used are from the Utah State Core Standards for Kindergarten, First and Second Grade. The standards and objectives for these grades focus on knowing ones self, family, friends and community. They also center the standards on having good relationships with people in the students' lives. The objectives used in this unit are: Students will develop a sense of self (1). Students will develop a sense of self in relation to…friends. (2) Recognize that choices have consequences that affect self and peers (2.1.d.) Describe behaviors that initiate and maintain friendships (2.1.e). Describe important aspects of the community and culture that strengthen relationships (2.2.).

This unit starts with students learning about themselves and the things that make them unique and special. This is a whole unit in itself and will be the unit taught before the friendship unit. Week 1 of the "friendship" unit is the last week of the "sense of self" unit. I thought these units meshed together well. Students need to know what they like and dislike before they are able to see similarities and differences with others. Students will then be able to learn to appreciate the diversity within their classroom, school and community and how each person in their world deserves the right to be treated fairly and justly.

 

Teacher Background Information

 

Human beings are social creatures. They eat together, live together, work together, play together, etc. Without each other it would be difficult to survive at all. Because of the need to be around others, at times problems arise. Many of the problems in the world begin with the fact that many of us do not know how to get along very well. In order to make the world a more just, fair and peaceful place we need to learn how to treat people the way we would like to be treated.

There are many things we can do to get along better with others; we can look for the good in others. We can find the similarities that we each possess and build a friendship from there. There will always be differences but we must learn to appreciate the differences in others as a good thing to have in a society. Life would be boring if all people were the same and alike.

Diversity is a part of our every day lives. It includes differences in race, learning styles, family structure, religion, talents, interests, personality, etc. Students should be taught to feel confident in their differences and be willing to accept others' differences. Every person adds to the diversity of our society in his/her own unique way. Most children are more willing to accept diversity than many adults, so we should take the opportunity to teach students in the elementary schools how to celebrate differences. Each person should have the right to be proud of and maintain his/her individuality. It is the individuality of each person that adds to the beauty of diversity. The benefits of diversity come when we are willing to use our differences to help one another become better.

Despite the many efforts made to accept diversity, there is still prejudice and discrimination in the world. Prejudice is the prejudgment made about any person regarding his/her race, religion, SES, gender, ability level, ethnicity, etc. Discrimination occurs when people who are thought to be "different" are treated unfairly based on the prejudgments of others. Some examples of discrimination would include name-calling and exclusion. Students should be aware of appropriate and inappropriate names to use when dealing with those who are different from them. Children should also be cautious of excluding those of different ability levels (physical and mental).

The United States is becoming more diverse. Therefore, it is essential to teach young students how to exist in a society where they will come in contact with a variety of people. The variety of people bring with them their different traditions, foods, holidays, dress, beliefs, etc. Students need to understand the importance of allowing others to maintain their individual beliefs and traditions. The world is a better place because of the diversity that exists in it.

 

Unit Planning Chart

Teacher Resources

-Experiences

-Friends

-Co-workers

Student Reading/ Literature

-Books on friends

-Books on fairness

-Books on differences

-Books on similarities

-Read letters from parents or friends

Oral Language

-Act out how to make a friend

-Chants and poems for and about friends

-Games with students names

Social Studies

-What are our similarities in our class?

-What do we have that is different?

-Role-play how to greet and meet new people.

-How we can be friends with people who are different

-How people help others (service)

Art

-Using one color only to dray a picture then using all the colors

-Make collage of things we like or individual students

-Draw picture of family and friends

Written Language

-Write letters to friends

-Have pen-pals

Science

-Biology (genes)

-Environment (weather)

-Senses

Physical Education/ Movement/Health

-Favorite foods

-Favorite sports

-Favorite activities on the playground

Music

-Make new Friends

-Use music students like by singing it or listening to it.

-Find out students favorite artists or composers

 

Math

-Categories of student's interests (graphing)

-Combining the interests (adding)

-Counting in the graph

Technology

-Draw pictures of self or friends on the computer

-E-mail friends or pen-pals

Field Trips/Guests

-Invite teacher's friends to the class

-Principal

-School Office People

-Elderly or go to the Old Folks home

-Other Classes

Organization and Subject Matter/

Goals and Objectives

 

The question that is addressed for this unit is "How can we be friends and get along with people who are different?" Two of the strands from the National Council of Social Studies that are being learned about in this unit are "Culture" and "Individual Development and Identity". The goals for this unit on friendship are from the NCSS standards. They are: give examples and describe the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups (I e), explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities and perspectives (IV f), and work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals (IV h). The objectives that are being used for this unit are found in the Utah State Core Standards. They are: Students will develop a sense of self (1). Students will develop a sense of self in relation to…friends. (2) Recognize that choices have consequences that affect self and peers (2.1.d.) Describe behaviors that initiate and maintain friendships (2.1.e). Describe important aspects of the community and culture that strengthen relationships (2.2.). These objectives from the Utah Core support the goals from the NCSS standards.

The unit is organized by starting with giving the students a sense of self. The unit previous to this will go into greater depth on behaviors of health and safety. They will have previously learned about their gross and motor movements with different physical activities. So when they start to evaluate the differences between themselves and others they will know their own likes and dislikes. The students will learn about how they are unique and special from others.

The next week or two the students will learn about making friends with the other students in the class. They will learn that their behaviors influence their relationship with people in the class. They will be able to recognize that their choices affect not just themselves but also classmates, peers and friends. They will learn how to make and be a friend to those in the classroom that are different, which means everyone in the classroom because all of the students are unique.

When the students have learned that they can be friends with anyone in our classroom the students will then learn that they can be friends with people in the school. This includes the principal, the office personal, the nurse, the janitor, the teachers and students in other classes. After learning that the people in the school are our friends we can learn about the people in our community that can be our friends. This will be the following week's subject. The people that can be our friends that are in our community can be children in our neighborhood, parents of our friends, elderly people in the neighborhood or at the nursing homes, the police and fire-people and many others in our community that we can trust.

Throughout all the lessons and weeks about learning about friends the theme of fairness, equality and justice will be integrated deeply. We will discuss how the color of skin, family structure, religion, talents, intelligence, interests, and personality of a person does not make a person less then any other person. We will learn how to treat people fair and how to respect others whether the people are in our class, school or in our community.

Overview Chart

Week 1

Week 2 and 3

Week 4

Week 5

Topic

Getting to know ourselves
Making Friends in our classroom
Making Friends in our school
Making Friends in our community

NCSS Standards

Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities and perspectives. (IV f)

Give examples and describe the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups. (I e)

Work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals. (IV.h.)

Utah Objectives

Standard 1: Students will develop a sense of self. (this is the last week of the previous unit)

2.1.e. Describe behaviors that initiate and maintain friendships.

2.1.d. Recognize that choices have consequences that affect self and peers.

2.2. Describe important aspects of the community and culture that strengthen relationships.

Standard 2: Develop a sense of self in relation to… friends.

Learning Activities

Lesson 1:

Make puppets and discuss physical attributes that make us unique

Lesson 3: Color and discuss why we use lots of colors. Discuss how the crayons are like people and people that are different work together well.

Invite another class to ours and compare similarities and differences between students.

Lesson 4: Talk about friends in the students' neighborhoods. Read I Need a Friend. Do the activity.

Lesson 2: Continue discussion about physical attributes that make us similar and different

Use puppets to show how they can be friends will all types of people in the class.

Use the puppets a couple times a week.

Introduce the principal and the office personal. Talk about the importance of their jobs in our school.

Invite elderly people or go to a home of the elderly and have the students get to know them. Compare the elderly to each other and the students. Discuss if they can all be friends.

Find likes and dislikes: see what's common in the class

Go out to the playground and use friendship skills of playing and sharing.

Invite the nurse and the janitor. Discuss what they do for our school.

We are all made up of different measurements.

Learn to resolve conflicts between classmates.

Make a chart of the different jobs that the different workers in the school do. Discuss if they are all important. What would happen if one were missing?

Invite a police officer and/or fire-person.

We all live in different homes, but they provide us with the same things.

We can be fair with people in our class by sharing, playing, accepting, respecting, and getting along.

Talk about the people we can and cannot trust in the community.

 An hour to an hour and a half each day will be devoted to teaching this unit. Many of the activities that will be done the students will do as a whole class or in groups. The students will sit at tables in groups of five. They will learn to share and work together in these groups. The groups will change throughout the year so students will learn to work with other students besides just the four that are sitting at their table. There will be times when the students will work with the teacher as a whole group. The carpeted area will be the place that the students will meet the teacher to do work with big books or work on the chart paper as a class. The carpeted area is also a place where students can go to do role-plays or to read during silent reading. The table is used for displaying students' work or to allow paintings, projects or art to dry. The classroom will be set up as shown below.

 

Learning Activities Bank

 

Lesson 1 & 2

 

Title of Lesson: My Self-Puppet

Teacher(s): Mrs. Hayden

Date: Week 1

Time Allotted: 2 hours

Grade Level(s): K-1

Number of Learners: 25

 

Unit Theme: How can we be friends and get along with people who are different?

Standard(s) Met: (see below)

 

Goal: The students will explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities and perspectives, (NCSS IV f) they will work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals. (NCSS IV h)

 

Objectives: Standard 1: Given materials to make a puppet of themselves, students will develop a sense of self. (Utah Standard 1) Students will become aware of and have respect for physical differences between themselves and others.

 

Materials Needed:

Mirror, Box, Paper Bags (an assortment of browns and beige), Glue, Yarn of yellow, brown, black, red and any other color that hair may be, Crayons or markers, and Fabric for clothing on puppets, cut to fit bag.

 

Motivation:

Mirror Box Activity (Dr. Jay Monson)

1. Wrap a box, so you can't see into the box, place question marks on the outside. Place a mirror inside.

2. Ask students to guess what is inside the box. Explain that everyone will see something different.

3. One by one every student looks into box.

 

Procedure:

After every student has looked in the box, tell him or her to create what he or she saw by making a puppet.

1. Each student needs a paper bag; give them a bag that matches their skin color the closest.

2. The students can use yarn for hair.

3. The students will make a puppet looks like themselves. They may need to look in the mirror for eye color and to remember other details of themselves.

4. Use the fabric for clothes.

 

Closure:

1. While the puppets are drying the students can look and see all the different puppets. Discuss with the students the differences of the puppets. Have the students compare the physical attribute of the puppets. Emphasize that one is not better than the other; they are all great in their own unique way.

2. On the following day do activities that involve the puppets. Compare the differences of the puppets in more detail. Have the students stand with their puppets in different group such as hair color, eye color, girls/boys, age, etc. Emphasize again that one is not better than another. Ask the students in the groups that even though they are in a different group then the other students if they can still be friends with the others in the class.

 

Accommodations:

Help any student that needs help with cutting. You may want some of the things (yarn and fabric) precut.

 

Assessment/Evaluation:

Students' learning will be observed as they interact with their peers, and comment on the depictions of themselves and others. Assess the students' remarks of who they can be friends with and if they get along with others.

 

Extension:

Have students that are done early help other students or read a book. Have students put their things away.

Teacher Reflection:

 

Lesson 3

 

Title of Lesson: The World is full of Colors

Teacher(s): Mrs. Hayden

Date: Week 2

Time Allotted: 45-60 minutes

Grade Level(s): K-1

Number of Learners: 25

 

Unit Theme: How can we be friends and get along with people who are different?

Standard(s) Met: (See Below)

 

Goal: The students will describe the importance of cultural unity and diversity within … a group. (NCSS I e) They will also work independently and cooperatively to accomplish goals. (NCSS IV h)

 

Objectives: Given [materials], the students will show behaviors that initiate and maintain friendships by working together to create a classroom mural. (Utah 2.1.e.) The students will develop a sense of self in relation to…friends. (Utah Standard 2)

 

Materials Needed:

The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf, White butcher paper, Crayons or markers.

 

Motivation:

Read The Crayon Box that Talked to the students. Then engage the students in a discussion. Ask:

What happened in this story?

Did you learn anything from this story?

 

After the discussion, ask the children how it would make them feel if someone did not like them because of their skin color, eye/hair color or how tall or short they were.

Have you ever been in a situation like that?

Explain that we are all valuable and no one should ever treat someone unkindly because of how they look.

 

Procedure:

1. Give the students one color of marker or crayon and a piece of paper; have them draw a picture.

2. After the pictures are done, have the students share their pictures.

3. Discuss how the students liked or disliked using only one color.

4. After the discussion divide the students into groups and have each student draw a part of the picture on the butcher paper using only their color of crayon.

5. Tie this into how we are all different, but we need everyone to make life colorful.

 

Accommodations:

Make sure all students are involved in using their color of crayon on the butcher paper. You may want to give each group of students a picture to copy so all the students agree on what they are drawing.

 

Closure:

Have the groups share their colorful pictures with the rest of the class. Ask the groups what picture has more color, which one shows more detail, etc. Compare the students with the crayons. Discuss with the students what our classroom would be like if we were all the same like the crayons.

 

Assessment/Evaluation:

Evaluate students understanding by the responses they give about the having everyone in the classroom be the same. Observe the students as they work and see how well they interact with each other.

 

Extension:

Have groups clean up their tables and put things away.

Teacher Reflection:

 

Lesson 4

 

Title of Lesson: I Need a Friend

Teacher(s): Mrs. Hayden

Date: Week 5

Time Allotted: 40-60 minutes

Grade Level(s): K-1

Number of Learners: 25

 

Unit Theme: How can we be friends and get along with people who are different?

Standard(s) Met: (see below)

 

Goal: Students will give describe the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups. (I e) Work independently…to accomplish goals. (IV h)

 

Objectives: Given the book I Need a Friend and the materials listed below, students will develop a sense of self in relation to…friends. (2) They will describe behaviors that initiate and maintain friendships (2.1.e). Describe important aspects of the community and culture that strengthen relationships (2.2.).

 

Materials Needed:

I Need a Friend by Sherry Kafta, Large Chart Paper, Worksheet (attached), Markers and Crayons

 

Motivation:

Put on a baseball cap and mitt. Casually toss the ball in the air and catch it, appear bored. Sit down sluggishly at the carpet (the students should be sitting on the carpet for large group time). Sigh heavily to show extreme boredom. Ask the students if they can guess what is wrong. If they do not know, explain that you are bored because you have no one to play with and the game of catch is more fun with a friend.

 

Procedure:

1. Read I Need a Friend as a large group on the carpet.

2. While reading it, focus students' attention on the things we can do by ourselves but how much more fun they can be when we share them with a friend. Focus on the illustrations and point out that we can be friends with people that are not in our school or that are our age, they can be family members, neighbors, the elderly or other people in the community.

3. Have students think and share ideas about things that they need a friend to do or things that are more fun to do with a friend.

4. On the chart paper write: "I can be friends with people in my neighborhood."

5. Have the students give ideas of who they can be friends with, you write their ideas on the chart paper.

6. Read the ideas aloud having students read with you chorally.

7. Give the students the worksheet below. Students can draw or write who they can be friends with in the community.

 

Accommodations:

 

Closure:

Invite the students to come back to the carpet to share their pictures. Discuss how much more fun things are when we share them with a friends and why we can be friends with these people. Discuss how the people are different by job, race, religion, culture, family, etc.

 

Assessment/Evaluation:

Look at the pictures and see if students had people in their community that can be friends. Listen to students' responses during the discussion.

 

Extension:

You may insist that the students that are advanced in their writing that they write more then draw.

 

Teacher Reflection:

 

 

Assessment

 

The nature of this unit is subjective; much of the evaluation will be informal. The teacher will need to observe the students as they work and play together. The observations will take place in the classroom, on the playground, in the cafeteria and in the hall. The teacher should look for a display of courtesy, kindness, and respect towards all peers and classmates.

Have students work in cooperative learning groups and observe whether the students are getting along and if they are working together. You and/or the students can evaluate as they are figuring out how to solve any types of conflicts that may arise while working in a group. Students' behavior needs to be noticed; watch for the formation of friendships and the ability to work with others.

There are many types of role-plays that the students can do with the puppets that are made at the beginning of the unit. When conflicts arise the students can use the puppet to discuss what needs to be done to correct the problem. The teacher can also give students scenarios that they can act out with the puppets. These scenarios can deal with any type of unjust or unfair experience that students may face in class or in the future. See the Role Play examples below.

There is a Friendship Questionnaire that can be completed by the students. This can be orally given to students who do not read yet. This questionnaire can help you decide what areas of friendship need to be focused on before you start teaching the unit or it can be used to see if the students are learning what is being taught. See the Questionnaire below.

The majority of the assessment will take place in the classroom discussions. The teacher will want to pay great attention to the responses that students give in class discussions or in private interviews. Teachers can question students and see if they are incorporating values that are being presented in the classroom lessons. It would be valuable to talk to each individual child about their thoughts towards the topics they have recently learned about.

 

Role Plays

Use puppets or the students can act these out to show that they are learning that they can be friends and get along with people who are different.

 

1. You and your friends are playing soccer. A younger child is standing on the sidewalk watching you play. She/he is not saying anything or moving but it seems to you that she/he wants to play. What do you do?

 

2. A new girl moves into you classroom and is assigned to sit in your group. She is a girl with dark colored skin and is not catching on to what the teacher is doing. What should you do?

 

3. Your neighbor is in the same class as you. She/he looks a little grubby all the time and does not have anyone to play with at recess. You play with her/him at home but not at school. Your friends at school do not want to play with her/him. What should you do?

 

4. A student comes to your class from a different country. She/he does not know very much English. Her/his language seems strange to you. How will you get to know her/him? How will you get your friends to accept her/him?

 

5. A student is being picked on in class because he/she is small. What should you do?

 

6. An old lady in your neighborhood is called bad names by one of your friends. What are you going to tell your friend?

 

7. Out on the slide during recess one of the students in not letting the fairer skin students on the slide. What can you do to solve the problem?

 

Friendship Questionnaire

(Oral or Written)

Answer each of the "friendship" questions below. You might want to rank your answers by putting #1 by you first choice, #2 by your second, and so on. Discuss you answers with another student in your class.

 

1. What do you look for most in a good friend?

a. appearance

b. honesty

c. willingness to share

d. kindness to others

 

2. What do you dislike most in a friend?

a. tells lies

b. cheats

c. makes fun of others

d. takes things that do not belong to him/her

 

3. If your friend has done something wrong and someone else was blamed for it, would you:

a. Say nothing and let the other person get in trouble.

b. Tell that your friend was the one who did it.

c. Try to convince your friend to tell the truth.

 

4. If your friend asked you to do something that you knew was wrong, should you:

a. Go ahead and do it because he/she is your friend.

b. Simply refuse to do it.

c. Explain to him/her why it is wrong and try to change his mind.

 

5. If your friend bought a new outfit that he/she thought was terrific but you thought is looked terrible, would you:

a. Tell him/her how bad it really looks.

b. Tell him/her it looks great, even though you know it doesn't.

c. Gently suggest some things that might make it look better.

 

"Teacher's Friend" June pg. 81

 

Appendices

Barnett, Bunny, Sorensen, Alison and Gardner, Kara. (1999) We are different; We are alike... Jay Monson, course instructor, USU.

 

Bingham, Natalie; Hawkins, Katrinia; Li, Ching-Hsien and Willaredson, Jan. Friends. (No publisher shown.)

 

Christenson, Celeste. Getting Along. (No publisher shown.)

 

DeRolf, Shane. (1997). The Crayon Box that Talked. New York: Random House.

 

Dobson, Bev, Sandberg, Karen and Wayman, Janice. A Friendship Unit. (No publisher shown.)

 

Fleming, Virginia M. (1993). Be Good to Eddie Lee. New York: Philomel Books.

 

Kafka, Sherry. (1995). I Need a Friend. Needham Heights, MA: Silver Burdett Ginn.

 

National Council for the Social Studies. (2002). Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. United States of America.

 

Utah State Core Standards (2003) K, 1, 2 Core Course Description-Content. Utah State Office of Education (USOE). www.uen.org