Getting Acquainted & Friends -- School-age
Getting Acquainted & Friends
A Circle of Friends
We've joined together as classmates
as the new year begins...
A year full of learning
while we become friends.
We'll share and be kind
as we work and play.
And our friendship will grow
with each passing day.
Need: construction paper, markers, scissors
Give each child a half piece of construction paper. Have them fold the paper in half and print their name along the fold. They should print their name fairly large.) Next have them cut out their name, making sure not to cut the fold. Open and they have created a name monster.
Art on the Wall
Begin by diagramming all the children's names on the chalkboard so that each name is connected to another by a common letter. The diagram will resemble a stretched out crossword puzzle.
Divide the children into groups. Each group is given a large sheet of paper. They are to diagram all the children's names in the group. When done decorate the paper. The children will want to do this activity over and over.
Give children strips of construction paper. Have everyone decorate and write the name of a friend on the strips. Let children take turns adding their strips to the chain. Display the chain in the classroom. Keep a supple of construction paper strips on hand and invite the children to continue adding strips to the class friendship chain.
Montage of Faces
Need: magazines and construction paper.
Have the children get into groups of 5 to 6 people. The groups decides if it wants the people montage to be happy, sad, funny, or scary faces. After the group decides what kind of faces it wants the children then look through the magazines and cut out the pictures they find. Cut the faces so that uninteresting areas around the faces are taken away. Next the children take turns pasting the faces to the construction paper in any manner suitable. When the montages have dried hang in the room. This montage is eye-catching.
Tower Your Initials
Need: posterboard, scissors, glue, scrap materials, stencils
Children trace and cut out their initials or the letters in their first name, if it is a short name. Decorate them on both sides in any fashion desired.
When the letters have been completed, notch them in two different places. Start connecting the letters by fitting them in the notches of the other letters. Build the letters up in a tower shape. This is not difficult if you are sure to insert the notch of one letter into the notch of another. The process automatically locks the letters together.
Place the Towering Initials on the windows or your bulletin board. After a day or two see how many names and initials the children can associate with the members of their class. Offer a small reward for the person who identifies the most names from the Towering Initial display.
Secret Pal Week
Have children draw names so that each has a Secret Pal in the class. Secret Pals send anonymous notes, cards, treats and surprises for their special friends. See if classmates can identify their pals. (Can do all week--On Friday see who can guess who their secret pal is. )
Make Friendship Bracelets
Make friendship necklaces using straws and paper. Put the names of friends on the papers. Or, give a paper to a friend to string with "From your name".
Need: pipe cleaners, scissors, cardboard strips, staples, assorted yarn.
A ring can be made by bending a pipe cleaner to fit the size of a finger. Make sure the ring will slide onto a finger, then twist it closed. Wrap yarn tightly around the ring shape, change the color scheme whenever desired.
A bracelet can be made by bending a cardboard strip into a circle shape. Make sure the bracelet will slide over your hand, then fasten the ends of the cardboard with a stapler. Wrap yarn tightly around the shape until the circle is completely covered. Cut the yarn and glue the end to the inside of the bracelet.
Make a Sailor's Bracelet from Jan Bretts' page. A lovely bracelet. In Jan Bretts' children's story "Comet's Nine Lives" there is a dog(Maisie) with a sailor's bracelet. Read the story and see if the children can find the dog(Maisie).
Form groups of 6 to 10 members. Stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a circle. Face each other. Reach across the circle with one hand. Grab the hand of a member (can not be the person next to you).
Try to untangle the human knot. Here are some strategies: Duck under each other's arms. Squat down while someone steps over your arm. Move slowly, one person at a time. Talk to each other and work together.
Learn how to work as a team. In the end some people may end up facing outward instead of inward. That is okay. Try it a second time. See if you can untangle faster than the first.
I'm Your Friend
Children sit together on the floor or a rug. One child sits in the chair with his/her back to the group, with eyes closed and hands covering eyes. Someone from the group tiptoes up to the chair, taps the child sitting in it on the back, and in a disguised or funny voice says, "Do you know me? I'm you're friend." The mystery child then rejoins the group and the guessing begins! The child in the chair uncovers his/her eyes, turns around, and tries to guess the name of the friend who tapped and talked. After three guesses, a new child takes the chair and gets a turn.
Children sit in a circle. One child in the middle hides his eyes. Teacher picks a child to leave the circle. The child in the middle has to guess who is missing. Gets three tries. Child who was picked to leave the circle is next in the middle. The children love this game. A good way for the children to learn each others names.
Play the Beanbag Hello Game! It is nice to say hello to a friend. It shows them that you are thinking about them. The teacher throws a beanbag to a child. This child says hello to another child in the circle. After the first child says hello, s/he thinks of something nice to say to the other child. The first child then throws the beanbag to another child. Continue until each child has caught the beanbag and said hello.
Talk about what it means to share ideas. When you share an idea, you tell someone something. Pass the beanbag around the circle. When a child receives the beanbag, s/he shares an idea. Help the children think of ideas! (What do you like to play? What do you like to draw?) Children find this concept interesting! They begin to think about communication. They find that speaking their thoughts is a safe and fun thing to do.
Teacher begins by describing the clothes of one of the children in the class. When the children think they know whose clothes has been described, they raise their hands. The teacher selects someone, who makes a guess. If the child guesses correctly, he or she will get to describe the next person's clothing. Or, the teacher can describe the next person's clothing.
Written by Beverly Donofrio
Illustrator: Barbara Mcclintock
"Mary lived in a big house with a very little mouse. The mouse lived in a little house inside of a very big house, with Mary."
An unlikely friendship develops between Mary and the mouse, and latter develops between Mary's daughter and the mouse's daughter. The tale shows the parallels in the life of Mary and the life of the mouse. A charming tale with whimsical beautiful cozy illustrations.
Tape the children's voices throughout the course of a day. At a group time play the tape back and have the children try to guess who is talking.