Celebrating Friendship

Take time at the end of the school year to help children reflect on how they have worked to get to know each other, efforts they have made to be kind, and the friendships they have formed. Here are two tales of unique and unlikely friendships that you could use to start:

A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead, is a moving tale about the friendship between Amos McGee and the animals for whom he provides special, individual care at the zoo. When Amos has a cold and has to stay home in bed, the friends become worried and decide to pay Amos a visit. They return the care he has lovingly given them in unique and special ways (my favorite is the owl telling him a bedtime story). After reading this book, students could write about special ways others have cared for them over the course of the year, or how they have cared for others.

In Beautiful Yetta, Daniel and Jill Pinkwater tell the unlikely story of Yetta, a chicken who is brought from her idyllic organic farm to Phil’s Poultry World in Brooklyn. She sees the writing on the wall and escapes, only to find herself lonely in the big city. After Yetta saves a parrot from a cat, however, a group of parrots take her into their fold. (One special aspect of the book is that Yetta’s words are presented in English and Yiddish, and the parrots’ in both Spanish and English.) Use this book to inspire students to reflect on how they have formed friendships, likely or unlikely, over the course of the year, and what it takes to be a good and true friend.

For even more ideas, check out last year’s post and comments about read-alouds for the last days of school.

Margaret Berry Wilson is the author of several books, including: The Language of Learning, Doing Science in Morning Meeting (co-authored with Lara Webb), Interactive Modeling, and Teasing, Tattling, Defiance & More.

Tags: Language Arts, Last Weeks of School