Cultivating friendships on the International Day of Friendship – #readilearn

Next Friday 30 July is the International Day of Friendship. One of the aims of the International Day of Friendship is to foster a culture of peace through education. It is “based on the recognition of the relevance and importance of friendship as a noble and valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world”.

Some children find it easy to make friends. Others may find it a little more difficult. While some of us enjoy time on our own, there’s no denying that days are often brighter with friends. This is especially true of children at school. Without a friend to play with, children can feel left out and alone. They may feel they don’t belong and begin to think ‘What’s wrong with me?’ Having a friend or two can influence how they feel about attending school and impact the whole school experience.

The establishment of a welcoming and supportive classroom in which all children have a sense of belonging is essential and underpins a great year of learning and teaching for all involved. Part of that classroom is the social dynamics and friendship groups. They don’t always form naturally and, especially when some friendship groups are already established, newcomers may have difficulty being accepted when they try to fit in.

Here at readilearn, we have a variety of lessons, activities and teaching resources to assist the teaching of friendship skills in your classroom. They can all be found in the Friendship Skills collection in the section Character Development.

Getting to know each other

Getting to know you surveys are a great way for teachers and children to get to know each other at the beginning of the year, and support the establishment of a welcoming, supportive environment in which individuals are respected and appreciated. Topics to survey are limited only by your imagination. With the incidental development of literacy and mathematical skills, they make an all-round great introduction to school.

Me and my friends Children interview their friends to find out ways in which they are similar and how they differ from each other

As children get to know each other, they come to realise that they have some characteristics in common and some that differ. Those characteristics do not make them better or worse. They make them who they are.

Me and My Buddy is a great activity for your children’s first session with their buddy class.

Children interview their buddies to find out more about them and discuss ways in which they and their buddies are similar and different.

A community of friends

Continue reading: Cultivating friendships on the International Day of Friendship – Readilearn

20 thoughts on “Cultivating friendships on the International Day of Friendship – #readilearn

  1. Jules

    I remember when I first started teaching over 40 – 60 years ago. Some of the places I worked had for lack of a better term had ‘international’ children. It was easier to encourage friendships of children with different backgrounds. When you have areas where there are less differences I think it becomes more of a challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      I agree, Jules. I always taught in classrooms with diverse groups – some more diverse than others. I think it’s good for children to grow up with a diversity of cultures.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. petespringerauthor

    I’m playing catch up today, Norah, as I’ve been out of town. All of these ideas (friendship skills, character development, getting to know you surveys, and interviews with friends and buddies) are things that all teachers should address in their classrooms. I used all of these things in one form or another in my classroom. When kids feel happy and safe in their classroom, more academic learning will happen. These things aren’t just fluff; they are crucial for a happy classroom.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for catching up on my post, Pete. 😊
      I so agree with these statements: ‘When kids feel happy and safe in their classroom, more academic learning will happen. These things aren’t just fluff; they are crucial for a happy classroom.’ Wisdom in a nutshell.

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  3. Patricia Tilton

    What an inspiring post about friendship! Had forgotten that next week is the International Day of Friendship! Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful ideas and activities. I’m sure teachers will love your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. CarolCooks2

    I think this is so important to teach children inclusion, to celebrate differences as we all are different in some way… we can learn and enjoy those differences or just have a quiet acceptance of those differences…Lovely informative post, Norah 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

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