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Acting Like a Friend

In order to get to know others we first learn about them, then we share about ourselves, and finally we must spend time with them. Learners will review the basic steps of seeking out friends and learn how to build stronger relationships over time.

Preview an SEL skills lesson: Acting Like a Friend

1 Show the video to your students

[INTRODUCTION]

NARRATOR: Friends have common interests and make time for each other. Friends put equal effort into the friendship, trust each other, and overall make each other feel good. To start a friendship, we make an effort to spend time with the other person, learn about them, and also share about ourselves. One way we learn about the other person is to ask general questions. We might ask questions about their family, their hobbies, and their likes and dislikes.

[Animated scene – lunch table, Girl 2 is painting]

Girl 1: Do you like art?

Girl 2: Yes, I love drawing!

Narrator: It’s important to remember all the facts you’ve learned about your friend as you talk and hang out more. Friends keep the information they’ve learned about each other in their heads. They use it to think of things to say in conversations or when making plans to hang out.

Girl 1: (Girl 2 likes and dislikes chart)

[Animated scene – school hallway]

Narrator: We also want to think about how much effort each person is putting into the friendship. We want the effort to be equal, meaning each person is trying the same amount to be friends.

Girl 2: I made this for you! (gives drawing to Girl 1)

Girl 1: Thanks!

Narrator: We want to copy the effort they are making toward us.

[Animated scene – students in line at the cafeteria]

Girl 1: (to Girl 2) I waited for you.

Girl 2: Thanks!

Narrator: Pay attention to your friend’s efforts. Are they continuing to do small things to show that they care about the friendship?

[Animated scene – lunch table]

Girl 2: (gives cookie to Girl 1)

Girl 1: Thanks!

Narrator: After you’ve gotten to know each other for some time, you can make plans outside of school. Choose an activity you know your friend will enjoy before inviting them.

Girl 1: Want to play in the park after school tomorrow?

Girl 2: Sure!

Narrator: This helps others get excited about the plan and say yes to it.

 

[SKILLS]

Narrator: To become a closer friend to someone:

(1) Start by asking questions

(2) Remember the facts about your friend to show you care about the things that are important to them

(3) Make sure you’re both showing equal effort. Effort tells you a lot about how they feel about you as a friend.

(4) Before making plans outside of school, choose an activity and a day so that the plan happens.

Let’s see how Niko makes a friend over time. Remember, a friendship is formed over weeks and months.

 

[SCENE 1 Classroom – Niko and Shay are sitting at their desks next to each other. The teacher passes Niko a stack of papers, Niko takes a paper and passes the papers to Shay.]

Niko: Do you like to fish?

Shay: Oh, yeah, I love it. My dad took me on a weekend trip once.

Niko: Me too! I fish all the time. You could come over after school today to fish.

Shay: I- I can’t come in today.

Niko: (talking fast/excited) I can make you some lures, or you can probably just have all of my brother’s.

Shay: No, no, I don’t want you to take your brother’s lures. Don’t do that.

Niko: No, it’s fine, he’ll never know. Maybe you can even sleep over.

Shay: Don’t you need to ask your mom first? I don’t know if I can come today.

Niko: You can come any day. We can make chocolate milkshakes!

Shay: Remember, I told you I’m allergic to milk?

Niko: So you can’t come over?

Shay: No, I can’t.

Narrator: How did Niko make Shay feel? What do you think each of them are thinking?

Niko: (thought bubble) I think I’m being a good friend. I’m making a lot of plans. Why doesn’t Shay want to hangout?

Shay: (thought bubble) That was a lot. I like Niko, but he has made too many plans with me and I just wish he’d remember things I’ve told him, like my allergy.

Narrator: Niko did not follow the rules of getting to know someone better. He made Shay feel uncomfortable because he invited him over too much. Niko also hurt Shay’s feelings when he didn’t remember what Shay had told him. In order to make a friend, we do a lot of thinking about them and give the friendship time. Let’s watch Niko try again.

 

[SCENE 2 Classroom – Niko and Shay are sitting at their desks next to each other. The teacher passes Niko a stack of papers, Niko takes a paper and passes the papers to Shay.

Niko: Do you like fishing?

Shay: Oh, yeah, I love it. My dad took me on a weekend trip once.

Niko: Yeah, me too! My brother knows how to make lures from things around the house.

Shay: Have you made any?

Niko: Yeah, I made one from a bottle cap. We better start this paper. I’ll show you how it looks like later.

Shay: Okay, yeah.

Niko and Shay: (starts working)

 

[SCENE 3 – One month later. Niko and Shay are in the classroom. Everyone else is pairing up.]

Niko: Do you want to be my partner?

Shay: Sure! (moves to Niko’s desk)

Niko: Did you get the joke I sent you?

Shay: Yeah, did you get mine?

Niko: (laughing) Yeah, it was funny because it was the worst joke ever.

Shay: (laughing) I know, right?

Niko: Do you want to come over to my house on Thursday? We can bike to the pond and fish by my house. My mom said you can take the bus home with me.

Shay: Sure! I’ll ask my mom. I don’t think I have anything on Thursday. Do you think we’ll catch any fish?

Niko: Probably.

Niko and Shay: (starts working together)

Narrator: What did Niko do differently this time? How do you think they both feel now?

Niko: (thought bubble) We’ve been talking in school for weeks and now I’m so excited for Shay to come over!

Shay: (thought bubble) Niko and I have been talking a lot more and picking each other as partners in class. Going to his house is going to be so fun.

Narrator: Niko did a great job making an effort to become better friends with Shay. (Friendship icon appears.) He asked questions to get to know Shay’s interests. They copied each other’s efforts by sending jokes back and forth and being partners. Finally, Niko organized a plan outside of school that fit both their interests.

 

[WHAT DID WE LEARN?]

Narrator: So, what did we learn?

To become a closer friend to someone:

(1) Start by asking questions.

(2) Remember the facts about your friend to show you care about the things that are important to them.

(3) Make sure you’re both showing equal effort. Effort tells you a lot about how they feel about you as a friend.

(4) Before making plans outside of school, choose an activity and a day so that the plan happens.

 

[REVIEW QUESTIONS]

1. APPLY: What are three facts you’ve learned about a friend? How do these facts help you be a better friend to them?

2. INFER: What were two things Niko did to make Shay uncomfortable?

3. ROLE-PLAY: Your friend has made plans with you the last two times you hung out. How can you show equal effort in being their friend?

 

2 Review with the Companion Worksheet
3 Apply new skills with activities & games!

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Other SEL materials on Acting Like a Friend
Finding Friends Video
Finding Friends

Elementary School

Play Skills Interactive
Play Skills

Elementary School

Well-Being Calendar Activity
Well-Being Calendar

Pre-k and K