Great Friendship Social Lessons from Around the Web: Something for Every Grade Level

middle school friendship lessons

Students who know what it means to be a good friend will benefit in many ways, from improved communication skills to higher grades. Good friends are good citizens, and the world needs them. These lessons will help you teach your students how to build friendships and understand the importance of friendship at every grade level.


Preschool Friendship Theme: Preschool is all about building those first friendships. Preschool Plan It offers many ideas for encouraging, developing, and celebrating early friendships. There are many ways that preschool kids can make friendships blossom, including art projects, circle-time activities, and snack ideas.

Group Cooperation Activity – In the early years of life, friendships are built through kindness, sharing, and social skills. Your little ones can learn how to be a friend and classmates by using a simple ball made of yarn.

Elementary school in the early stages

Friendship Activities For The Rainbow Fish: Sparkly Fins for All His Friends! The Rainbow Fish discovers that sharing his shiny scales is more enjoyable than keeping them to himself. This will also be true for your students. Marcus Pfister’s award-winning children’s book will inspire your students. Continue with activities such as creating friendship fish, creating a friendship chain, or writing a short assignment.

How To Be a Friend: Students can learn how to act out friendship to help them become good friends. Marc Brown and Laurie Krasny Brown created a children’s book to teach students friendship. They then used the skit to illustrate what they learned.

Note: has an amazing resource but requires free membership to view the entire lesson.

Upper elementary

Lessons to Build Friendships: Reading to elementary school students is a great way to get to know them. Reading to them helps them think about and hear about others’ experiences. Scholastic offers great book pairing ideas and insight into how students can benefit from reading aloud and conversations about friendship.

Friendships don’t have to be limited by borders This lesson will have students identify themes in stories from around the globe by looking at a variety of resources. As they travel with other children, they will identify the theme of friendship. Students will have multiple opportunities to learn, document, and explore what is happening around them.


Middle School

A Good Friend is a Great Friend Friendships evolve during this stage of adolescence. Friendships change as we grow older and become more about shared interests and support. Many children believe they understand friendship at this stage, but they are often wrong or confused. Although it is part of a larger unit, lesson 7 is still a useful, standalone lesson. Students will explore friendships by creating their positive friendship criteria. This can be done through individualized or group work, assessments, discussions, and other activities.

Cliques at Schools: Friendships can turn into cliques in middle school. Cliques in Schools are not healthy for anyone (ahem Mean Girls, anyone?). Cliques in Schools is an opportunity to learn about the differences between cliques and friendship circles, as well as the disadvantages of limiting friendships within groups. Students will learn the differences between them and come up with ways to build relationships that transcend cliques.

On Friendship – Sometimes, what seems obvious to us is not always the case. This lesson challenges students to think critically about friendship and the characteristics that are essential for strong, positive relationships. Students are asked to examine themselves and to reflect on the impact of their friendships on their lives.

High School

Friendship Groups, Cliques, or Boxes are more important at high school. This is not just for the benefits, but also for what happens if they’re not built well. PBS’ In The Mix: High School Teachers’ lesson offers a chance for high school teachers to have an open discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of teenage relationships. This lesson includes media elements, class and group discussion questions, tasks, and assessments as well as suggestions on differentiating. This lesson is suitable for two 45-minute classes. It can be easily extended and made into additional lessons or activities.

Vulnerability TED-Ed is changing the way we learn. The Friendship & Vulnerability lesson uses video, online questions, and extension activities to keep the learning and discussion going. Although the information is accessible and worthy for any great lesson, the link allows you to customize the lesson so that you can dig into the topic and tie it to your curriculum plan.

Peer Pressure Bullying Lesson Plans: The mentality “He made it happen” extends beyond elementary school. While it’s rare for teens to say those words, they often feel that they must do something to be liked or fit in. Many teens aren’t aware that true friendship means liking someone for their differences. This lesson teaches us that bullying and peer pressure can occur within friendships. It is broken down into seven steps and encourages students to think deeply about friendship and appropriate relationships.

Friendship is what makes the world go around.

Teaching your students how to form strong, lasting friendships will help them develop their moral compass as well as their character. Few things are more important than this.