3. Being a good friend

Time to complete 3. Being a good friend: 60 min

Year level: Pre-primary


Students develop an understanding that social skills are required to build and maintain friendships.

Learning focus

Personal and social skills to interact with others: expressing needs, wants and feelings; active listening; self-discipline. 

Key understandings

enlightened Friends are people we care about and want to spend time with.

enlightened Our friends can be just like us or very different from us.

enlightened Taking turns, playing fairly and listening when people talk can help us to get along with others.

enlightened We don't have to be friends with everyone, but we do have to be respectful. 


  • 5-6 hula hoops
  • Music (any songs that evoke movement around hoops)

  • Good Friend songs (Each song approx 1min 30sec)

  • Group 1 activity: Friendship flowers

    • Paper plates [one per student]

    • Photo of each student printed out (to fit inside paper plate) OR students can draw a self portrait

    • Strips of green paper or ribbon (for stem of flower). These can be cut to height of child as added display of their growth.

  • Group 2 activity: Friendship flower petals

    • Petal shapes pre-cut on different coloured paper

  • Group 3 activity: Puppets

    • puppets/ finger puppets/ soft toys for role play

  • Group 4 activity: Books

  • Take home activity sheet - this can be photocopied onto green card or the students can colour them in at home.

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)

Before you get started

  • It is important to be mindful that some students have difficulty making and keeping friends and may need additional support during such lessons. 

  • Read background notes:

Learning activities

Group agreement

Time to complete Group agreement: 5 min

yes Teaching tip: A group agreement must be established before any Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) program begins to ensure a safe learning environment. Read: Essential information: Establishing a group agreement for tips on how to create one and what to include.

  1. Revise the class group agreement

Hoop activity

Time to complete Hoop activity: 15 min

  1. Place 5 or 6 hoops on the ground in an area where students can safely run around.

  2. Have students move around the hoops to some music. When the music stops call out a number between 1 and 5. Students need to cluster in a hoop in groups of this number.

yes Teaching tip: There may be students left out of a hoop during the game. Be mindful that the same children are not left out each time. You may wish to use other adults in the room to be part of the game to assist with this. 

  1. When students are left out of a hoop, observe how the other students respond (e.g. Do they notice the students left out? Do they invite them in? Do the students left out of a hoop join together?).

  2. Play a few rounds of the game.

  3. laugh Ask:

❓ How did it feel when you were one of the students in the hoop?

(great, winning, part of a group, etc)

❓ How did it feel if you were one of the students not in the hoop?

(not good, upsetting, left out, ok once but not fun when it happened again, frustrating, etc)

  1. laugh Draw attention to actions of some of the behaviours, for example:

❓ I noticed that some students invited others to come and join their hoop. How do you think that made the students outside the hoop feel?

(welcome, liked, included, etc)

❓ I noticed that some students said 'no' to others joining their hoop. How do you think that made them feel?

(left out, sad, upset, angry, etc)

❓ I noticed that some students that weren't in the hoop joined with each other to make their own group. How do you think that made them feel?

(not left out, ok because they were with friends, etc)

yes Teaching tip: When describing the actions of students, keep the statements general rather than naming individuals (unless complementing them for positive behaviours).

  1. laugh Explain:

"Being left out does not make people feel good.

We are going to play the game again, but this time we are going to aim not to have anyone left out. If I say the number 3, you need to have AT LEAST 3 people in your hoop, but you can have more so that no one is left out. 

I would like to see you inviting people into your hoop or helping them to find another hoop of 3 or more."

  1. Play the game again with the new rules for a few rounds. 

  2. laugh Discuss:

❓ How was this game different?

(no one was left out, no one was sad or upset, everyone had fun)

  1. laugh Explain:

"One tip for being a good friend, is to help people feel included and welcome. 

Today we are going to have a look at more qualities that make a good friend."


Time to complete Song: 10 min

  1. Listen to one of the Good Friend songs.

yes Teaching tip: Put closed captions on so students can start to recognise words of the song. 

  1. laugh Ask:

❓ What are some qualities of being a good friend in this song?

(make you laugh/smile, invite you to play,share things, do things together, play together, help you, play fair, care, take turns, cheer them up, etc)

❓ What are some other qualities that make someone a good friend?

(say hello, listen to you, ask you questions, want to know about what you like, want to know about your pets, etc)

Group activities

Time to complete Group activities: 20 min

  1. Small group activities:

Group 1: Friendship flowers (adult led)
  • Students paint the paper plate in a colour suitable for the centre of a flower.

  • Students cut out a photo of themselves and paste into the centre of a paper plate (Or draw a self portrait in the paper plate.

  • On a strip of green paper record a quality that the student feels makes them a good friend (e.g. I help my friends when they are sad). Stick this to the bottom of the paper plate as the stem of the flower.

yes Teaching tip: The green strips can be cut to the height of the child and displayed around the room to show how much they have grown throughout the term/year. 

Group 2: Friendship flower petals (adult led)
  • On cut out petal shapes, students draw pictures or record words to show qualities of their friends.

  • These can be added to the relevant friend's paper plate to create the flower.

  • Ensure all students have enough petals from other students to complete their flower.

  • Flowers can be displayed and petals added throughout the term as students notice friendly behaviours.

yes Teaching tip: An adult may be required to encourage students to make petals for specific students to ensure everyone has enough petals to complete their flower and/or adults may complete petals for students.

Group 3: Puppets 
  • ​​​​​​Students use finger puppets, hand puppets or dolls to role play ways to be a good friend.

Group 4: Book corner


Time to complete Reflection: 10 min

  1. Use the puppets or toys to role play the following scenarios to recap key messages.

  2. Scenario 1: Not liking the same things is ok

Puppet 1: I don't like drawing 

Puppet 2: Well I don't like riding bikes

Puppet 1: Well we can't be friends!

  1. laugh Ask:

❓ Do your friends have to like all the same things as you?

(no, you can like different things, they might like some things the same and some different, you might have different friends that like to do certain things e.g. dance lessons, building cubbies, etc)

  1. Invite a student to be Puppet 2 and suggest good tip for being a good friend in this scenario.

(e.g. Puppet 2: well we both like doing dress ups, shall we do that instead?)

  1. Scenario 2: Having more than one friend is ok

Puppet 1: You can't be friends with Jay. You're MY friend!

Puppet 2: (sad/cries)

  1. laughAsk: 

❓ Is puppet 1 right? Do you have to be friends with only one person at a time?

(no, you can have multiple friends)

❓ Does being friends with another person make you less of a friend to your other friends?

(no, you can be a good friend to many people at once)

  1. laugh Explain:

"If I have a bag of lollies and I give a lolly to you, to you, to you, and to you, what happens to all the lollies? They are all gone, they run out. 

What if my bag was full of smiles? If I give smile to you, and to you and to you, what happens to all the smiles? Do my smiles run out? No. Smiles, don't run out.

Friendship also doesn't run out the more I give it to others. In fact, in many ways, the more kindness and friendship you give, the more you get back."

  1. Invite a student to be Puppet 2 and suggest good tip for being a good friend in this scenario. (e.g. Puppet 2: It is ok to have more than one friend. How about we all play together? OR Puppet 2: How about I play with Jay at recess and you at lunchtime)

  2. Scenario 3: We don't have to be friends with everyone

  3. Puppet 1: You never play with Ali.

    Puppet 2: Ali and I don't get along very well and we don't like doing any of the same things.

Puppet 1: You HAVE to be friends with Ali! Teacher says we ALL have to be friends!

  1. laughAsk: 

❓ Do we have to be friends with everyone?


  1. laughExplain: 

"We don't have to be friends with everyone but we do have to treat everyone with respect. If you really don't get along with someone or they don't make you feel good, you can still be kind and respectful without being their friend."

yes Teaching tip: This concept is related to protective behaviours. It is important for students to understand they don't need to be friends with people who don't make them feel good. It can be useful to revisit trusted adults and help-seeking.

  1. Teacher to model how Puppet 2 might respond.

Puppet 2: "Ali is amazing at climbing to the top of the play equipment and riding super fast on the scooter. When i play on the scooter he gets frustrated with how slow I go and I get scared at how fast he goes. We always seem to argue when we play together. It's ok for us not to play together."

Take home activity

Give students the Take home activity sheet: Friendship flower leaves so that two of their family members can add a reason why their child is a good friend.