What Makes a Good Friend?

Students read texts focused on what it means to be a good friend, and examine key details about characters through discussion and writing, helping to facilitate building friendships in the classroom.

Unit Summary

In this unit, students read a collection of texts focused on building an understanding of what it means to be a good friend. This unit, in connection with beginning of the year culture-building activities, will set a strong foundation for building social-emotional awareness within students as they navigate making new friendships within the classroom. This unit will also serve as the launch unit of the year-long theme, what it means to be a good person within a community. Over the course of the year, students will deepen their understanding of what it means to be a good person and grow up in different communities, part of which involves being a good friend. 

This unit will serve as the foundational unit for creating a strong Read Aloud and discussion culture. Building on what students learned in K2, students will practice asking and answering questions about key details, particularly characters, in partners, individually, and through discussion. Students will also learn and practice strong habits of discussion, particularly structures for Turn and Talks, tracking, voice, and focused bodies. Additionally, students will be challenged to think about characters, what they are like as a person and what they learn in the story by noticing the details an author includes in the words and the pictures. 

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Texts and Materials

Core Materials

See Text Selection Rationale

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • What does it mean to be a good friend?

Vocabulary

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Text-based

ashamed clever courage coincidence copycat enemy fierce foolish ignore invisible include insults influence jealous judge kindness lie lonely misunderstood proud satisfied truth

Related Teacher Tools:

Content Knowledge and Connections

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Being a good friend means:

  • You tell the truth and do not lie to your friends.
  • You do and say kind things to each other.
  • You are proud of each other's differences and do not make fun of one another.
  • You do not copy each other.
  • You include others.
  • You do not judge people. You ask questions to learn more.
  • You do no judge based on looks, clothes, or skin color.
  • You get to know people before you decide they will not be your friend.
  • You are not jealous of each other.
  • You work together to solve conflicts.

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Lesson Map

1

  • Ruthie and...

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.3

Explain what the author wanted us to learn by asking and answering questions about key details in a text.

Make connections to what it means to be a good friend and part of a strong team.

2

  • How Full...

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.3

Describe what it means if someone fills your bucket by asking and answering questions about key details in the text.

Make connections between the text and what it means to be a good friend.

3

  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.3

Describe why Molly Lou Melon acts the way she does by asking and answering questions about character motivation and feelings.

Describe how you are unique and how that helps strong friendships and teams.

4

  • Ruby the Copycat

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.3

Describe how Ruby’s feelings changed by asking and answering questions about character feelings.

Make connections to what it means to be a good friend and part of a strong team.    

5

  • The Invisible Boy

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.3

Explain why the author ends the text by saying “Maybe, just maybe, Brian’s not so invisible after all” by asking and answering questions about character feelings and motivation.

6

  • The Sandwich Swap

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Describe how the main characters change by asking and answering questions about character motivation.

7

  • Jamaica and Brianna

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.3

Explain what Jamaica and Brianna learn by asking and answering questions about character motivations and feelings.

8

  • Enemy Pie

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Describe how the narrator’s relationship with Jeremy Ross changes by asking and answering questions about character feelings.

9

  • Big Al

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Describe how Big Al’s relationship with the other fish changes by asking and answering questions about character motivation. 

10

  • Matthew and Tilly

    RL.1.1

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Explain what Matthew and Tilly realize and why by asking and answering questions about character motivations, feelings, and actions.

11

  • Each Kindness

    RL.1.1

Retell Each Kindness using key details from the story.

12

  • Each Kindness

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Explain what Chloe learns and how she learns it by Close Reading a text.

13

Writing

  • All unit texts

    W.1.1

    SL.1.1

    SL.1.6

Write an opinion piece about what makes a good friend.

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.1.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.1.1.j — Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.

  • L.1.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.1.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.1.1 — Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

  • RL.1.2 — Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

  • RL.1.3 — Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

  • RL.1.10 — With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.1.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups

  • SL.1.2 — Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

  • SL.1.6 — Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.

Writing Standards
  • W.1.1 — Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.