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Character Development: Being a Good Friend

EducationWorld partner Cre8time has shared this resource from Elmer’s Teachers Club™. Browse their selection of creative lessons by teachers, for teachers, and join the club for exclusive access to Common Core-aligned lessons, project ideas and more.





Brief Description

This simple social-emotional learning activity reinforces the importance of friendship and sets clear expectations for a healthy and positive classroom environment. 


Students will:

  • Identify the characteristics of a good friend.
  • Identify their own attributes that make them a good friend.
  • Identify mistakes that we sometimes make when interacting with our friends. 


Character development, bullying prevention, friendship, positive classroom climate, social-emotional learning

Materials Needed

  • Pink Tiara Cookies for Three by Maria Dismondy
  • Paint sticks (enough for each student)
  • Construction paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Elmer’s® School Glue or Elmer’s® X-treme Glue Stick
  • (Optional) Embellishments to decorate hand mirrors such as buttons, glitter, rhinestones, ribbon, etc. (optional)
  • Good Friends handout


Lesson Plan

Read the book Pink Tiara Cookies for Three by Maria Dismondy to students. As you read, share the illustrations and stop periodically to discuss the humor and the relevant challenges that the characters face when a third person is introduced to a friendship. Ask students if they can relate to how each of the characters felt throughout the story. 

As a class, discuss what a good friend looks like. Some discussion questions might be:

  • Does a good friend have ears for listening?
  • Does a good friend have eyes for seeing the good things in others?
  • Does a good friend have a mouth for sharing positive comments?

Next, explain to students that they will create a hand mirror to help them think about what a good friend looks like. Provide each student with a paint stick and a piece of construction paper. Instruct them to fold the construction paper in half and cut an oval out so that they will have two. Tell the students to glue the paint stick to one oval to serve as the handle for the mirror. Then, they will glue the second oval on top so that the construction paper covers the paint stick on both sides. Finally, cut a piece of aluminum foil just smaller than the construction paper to serve as the mirror. 

Once the mirror is finished, ask students to look at themselves and reflect upon what kind of friend they are. Explain that they won’t “see” characteristics of friendships, but they should think about them. 

Some questions to guide this discussion could be:

  • Are you a good listener?
  • Do you stand up for other people when they are being teased or bullied?
  • Do you feel bad when other people have hurt feelings?
  • Do you use kind words?

Differentiation Ideas:

Younger children may need an oval pattern to trace. Additionally, aluminum foil can be difficult for some children to cut. You may want to have these cut out in advance to avoid wasting your supplies. 

More advanced children can pass the mirrors around the room and write their own examples of friendship on the back.  Students can decorate the front of the mirror with their name. When another student receives the mirror, he can write a positive friendship trait about that person on the back.


As a follow-up activity from the reflection on friendship, provide each student with a copy of the Good Friends handout. Ask students to list appropriate items in each column. After a few moments, give students an opportunity to share what they have written. 

Discuss how we have all probably done things in the right column, but the goal is to do more of the “good things.” This activity can be a safe way to remind students of the kind of environment you expect in your classroom, as well as how important it is for each of us to treat others the way we want to be treated. 

Lesson Plan Source

Cre8time, through partnership with EducationWorld

Submitted By

Elmer’s Teachers Club

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 - Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 - Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.



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