WE ARE BEST FRIENDS

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Circle Time Presentation

Show the children the cover of the book and tell them the boys are Robert and Peter, who are best friends. On the cover, the boys are swinging together. Discuss other things that friends like todo together. Read WE ARE BEST FRIENDS. At the end, several children who have had the experience of friends moving away will identify with Robert and the feeling of being left behind. Let two or threechildren share their stories before talking about how each child can make new friends in the classroom.

STORY STRETCHER

For Art: Picture Letter For A Friend

What the children will learn-
To communicate with a friend through a sketch

Materials you will need-

  • Paper
  • pencils
  • magic markers
  • long business-size envelopes

What to do-

  1. Call attention to Aliki's illustrations and have the children notice how brightly colored they are. Ask the children how they think Aliki made those bright colors. Someone will mention magicmarkers.
  2. Ask the children to sketch first with the pencils and then add color with the magic markers.
  3. Mention that Robert and Peter sent pictures back and forth in the mail as a way to tell each other what they were doing.
  4. Assign each child a partner so that each person has a special friend at school for whom to draw and write a picture letter.
  5. After the children have finished their pictures, let them write a few sentences on their own, or assist them in writing a message by letting them dictate and you write for them.
  6. Demonstrate how to fold the pictures so that they will fit into a long envelope.

Something to think about-
Pairing children, rather than letting them choose, protects the new child who may not yet have friends.

STORY STRETCHER

For Cooking And Snack Time: A Birthday Party For Robert

What the children will learn-
To prepare a birthday cake

Materials you will need-

  • Cake mix
  • two eggs
  • milk or water depending on the recipe
  • cake pan
  • microwave or toaster oven
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • mixing bowl
  • spatula
  • canned frosting
  • knives
  • candles
  • napkins
  • plates
  • forks
  • glasses
  • milk

What to do-

  1. Remind the children that one of Robert's concerns was that Peter was moving away before Robert's birthday and would miss his party. Tell the children that you are going to have a partyfor Robert and bake a birthday cake for him.
  2. On the day of the cake baking, divide the children into groups of mixers, decorators, cleaners, servers.
  3. Follow the package directions for baking in a microwave or toaster oven.
  4. When the cake has baked and cooled, let the decorators spread the frosting and add the candles. Dipping a knife or spatula in water and then into the frosting helps to spread the frosting moreeasily.
  5. Have the servers set the table with napkins, plates, forks and glasses for milk.
  6. Light the candles and sing "Happy Birthday to You" to Robert.
  7. With your assistance, let each child cut his or her own piece of cake.
  8. Have the cleaners clear the snack tables and help them wash the baking and serving utensils.

Something to think about-
When you have birthday parties for real children, plan carefully with parents so that they do not bring too many sweets. Also, if some parentscannot afford birthday cakes or cupcakes, ask the parents' permission for a group of "bakery helpers" from the school to provide the cake.

STORY STRETCHER

For Library Corner: Book Of Messages To Our Friend

What the children will learn-
To compose a message and illustrate it, telling what their friend would like to know

Materials you will need-

  • Typing paper
  • pencils
  • pens
  • fine-line markers
  • colored pencils or crayons

What to do-

  1. When a classmate moves away, it is difficult for the child who moves, but it is also puzzling for the children who are left behind. Discuss their feelings and what they remember about theirfriend "David" who moved recently.
  2. Tell the children that you have been thinking about "David" and how he must be wondering what is happening in the class since he left. Brainstorm some ideas which the children think"David" would like to hear about.
  3. Let each child dictate a sentence or two about how "David" is missed or tell him some class news. Leaving a one-
    inch margin on the left, print their sentences on the bottom of sheets of typing paper.
  4. Ask each child to draw a picture which illustrates their message to "David."
  5. When the children have finished their illustrations, staple the pages together, add a cover sheet and bind into a book. See the appendix for the steps in binding a book.
  6. Mail the message book to "David."

Something to think about-
Ask "David" to write and draw a letter about his new home, friends and school. Some children whose families have video cameras may send avideo tape instead of a letter and drawing.

STORY STRETCHER

For Mathematics And Manipulatives: Replicating Patterns With Blocks

What the children will learn-
To observe and replicate a friend's building structure

Materials you will need-

  • Small wooden blocks or plastic connecting blocks
  • toy cars and trucks

What to do-

  1. Show the illustrations from We Are Best Friends of the boys building block structures and playing with the toy cars and trucks.
  2. Build a simple structure with blocks and ask a child to build another one just like it.
  3. Pairs of children can build structures, with one child as builder the second as replicator. Then they can switch roles.

Something to think about-
Younger children will place blocks end on end to create a train and other linear structures, while older children may use a variety of ways toreplicate their friend's work, adding a block at a time or completing a structure.

STORY STRETCHER

For Science And Nature: Finding Greenies, Looking For Frogs

What the children will learn-
To look for frogs in cool, wet places

Materials you will need-

  • Parents and other volunteers
  • parent permission slips
  • transportation

What to do-

  1. If possible, take the children on a field trip to a pond to look for frogs. If the field trip is not possible, ask a parent who lives in an area where frogs can be found to bring in a frog.
  2. Have the children look for frogs, which Will called "Greenies" in We Are Best Friends. Show them how to look along the pond bank and in cool, shaded, damp places. Demonstrate howto gently push back the lower branches of weeds and grasses and look near the cool wet earth.

Something to think about-
If you have access to tadpoles, bring some in for the children to observe how they grow. Call them "Inkywiggles," as Peter did in thebook We Are Best Friends.

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