Appreciating friendships

Year level: 1


Students distinguish between friendly and unfriendly behaviour and identify their own ‘getting on with others’ strengths and limitations. Students practise using friendly behaviour with others by giving and receiving compliments.

Learning focus

  • Appreciation and encouragement of the behaviour of others.

  • How to maintain friendships.

  • Practise showing appreciation and gratitude and being a good friend.

Key understandings

  • Getting along with others and being a good friend requires effort.

  • There are things you can do to maintain a friendship such as saying thank you, using positive language and giving compliments.

  • Some friendships last a long time and some are very short.


  • Book: How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
  • Teaching Resource: Friendly and unfriendly signs
  • Student Activity Sheet: Getting along with others quiz [one per student]
  • Several pairs of old glasses with no lenses or cardboard glasses made from cardboard cylinders taped together

General capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education(P)

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.

Relationships and sexuality

Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related items

Teaching resource (download) Guides

Before you get started

  • Be sensitive to the students who have difficulty making friends and keeping friends. Help these students identify the personal strengths they possess and the attributes required when being a friend.

  • It is important to read and understand the Guides: Resilience and life skills and Establishing ground rules in order to create a safe environment for all students to feel supported and trusting.

Learning activities

Whole Class

Students reflect on actions, attributes and feelings associated with being friendly and unfriendly.

  1. Conduct a shared reading of How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them. This 'guide to friendship' covers who can be your friend, how to show someone you would like to be friends, how to handle bosses and bullies, best ways to be a friend and not be a friend, and ways to settle an argument with a friend.

  2. Using the Teaching Resource: Friendly and unfriendly signs, place a ‘friendly’ sign at one end of the room and ‘unfriendly’ sign at the other. Have students consider several of the following scenarios then move to the sign that best represents their opinion. Invite students to discuss their placement with others near them.

    • You have a different type of backpack to all the other girls in your class. Some of the girls in your class laugh and point at your backpack when you walk to class.

    • A new girl has joined your class. She looks a little lonely at recess so you ask her if she would like to play on the swings with you.

    • You tell your friend about your exciting weekend away on a farm and he just talks about what he did on the weekend and says nothing about your time on the farm.

    • Your friend lets you take her favourite doll home for the night to play with.

    • A boy in your class always slams the ball down hard when he gets out playing four square.

    • Your friend is good at doing tricks on the trampoline. You are not so good and often make mistakes. She never laughs at you. She just tells you in a kind voice what you did well.

  3. Ask students the following questions:

    • How do we feel when people are being friendly to us? (warm, happy, like we belong)

    • How do we feel when people are being unfriendly to us? (sad, nervous, rejected)

    • What are some of the skills for getting along with our friends and others? (social skills that lead to good relationships such as being positive; saying thank you; being a good listener; finding things in common; being a good winner and loser; being interesting; cooperating; sharing information about yourself; sharing your possessions; giving compliments)

  • Draw a T-chart and label it 'Friendly' and 'Unfriendly'. Whiteboard these responses under the 'Friendly' column and draw pictures for each to act as a trigger for poorer readers.

  1. Ask the students:
    • Are you born with these skills? (no, you have to learn and practise them. If you get along well with others you have a sense of belonging and satisfaction. Practising these skills while you are young will help you get along with people better when you are adults)
    • What kinds of problems can friendships have? (misunderstandings, arguments, jealousies, growing apart – stress that all friendships have problems sometimes but these problems can usually be sorted out. Some friendships are only temporary but this doesn’t mean that one of you has done something wrong or that you are not likeable)

    • What are some things that make it harder to be friendly with someone even though they are probably a nice person? (unhealthy behaviours such as being a poor loser or winner; making negative comments; constantly talking about self; scowling and looking grumpy; not saying anything about self or how they feel; not sharing; being mean and nasty; starting fights over small things; not being flexible)

      • Whiteboard these responses under the 'Unfriendly' column of the T-chart and draw pictures for each to act as a trigger for poorer readers.

    • Do we use fewer ‘getting on with people’ skills with our brother(s) and sister(s) or mum and dad? Why?

Independent or Small Group

In this activity, students practise using friendly behaviours such as saying thank you, using positive language and giving compliments.

  1. Explain that showing our friends that we are grateful for their friendship is a skill that not only helps us get along with people but also makes us feel happier.

  2. Revisit the strategies under the 'Friendly' column of the T-chart above. Have students complete the Student Activity Sheet: Getting along with others quiz after explaining and giving examples for each item in the quiz. (Parent helpers or buddy students may be useful to help with this activity.)

    • Discuss results and have students circle two skills they would like to practise at home and at school.

  1. Have students form small circle talk circles and give each inside circle one pair of glasses with no lenses (or two small cardboard cylinders taped together and decorated to form glasses). Explain that these are called 'Grateful Glasses' and that when you wear these glasses you have to practise being grateful for your friendships. To do this they give a compliment to the person opposite them by telling him/her something that they are grateful for, e.g. "I’m grateful that you tell interesting stories” or “I’m grateful that you let me use your textas”  (Stress that they can use the strategies from the 'Friendly' column of the T-chart to give them ideas). The person receiving the compliment must say “thank you” and then the glasses get passed to the next person in the circle.

    • When everyone on the inside circle has worn the glasses, pass them to the outside circle and repeat the process.  

  1. Ask the students:

    • How did you feel when you heard the compliment from your partner?

    • Were you surprised by what he/she said? Why/why not?

    • Was it easy to find something to be grateful for everyone? (enforce the ‘no names’ rule here)

    • Why do you have to practise ‘getting on with others’ skills to have friends?

    • Why is it important to share with friends what we appreciate about them?  


Using a computer program, have students complete and illustrate the sentences:

"One ‘getting on with people’ skill I do most of the time is……."

"One ‘getting on with people’ skill I need to practise is……."