International Day of Friendship was proclaimed by the United Nations in 2011 and this year, is celebrated on the 30th of July. Whether you are in the classroom or teaching online like me, there is is reason to miss the opportunity to celebrate friendship.
When you think of the word friend, what or who comes into your mind? Do you think of someone who makes you smile, adds something to your life or supports you when you need them? I am sure there are many things you might think of, which is great but do you express these feelings? International Day of Friendship reminds us how important are friends are for a healthy and happy life. Don’t forget to celebrate friendships throughout the year, not just today!
Find a pen pal
Yes, I am talking about actual pen pals!
When is the last time you asked your students to write a letter and provide an opportunity to get off their device and revert to good old paper and pen?
With a cohort of over sixty students, we paired our students up and tried to mix up the classes to provide opportunity to connect or expand friendships.
At the moment, posting a letter is difficult and we did not want to ask students to provide their home address. Students either took a photograph or scanned their letter into an email with a teacher cc’d to ensure that contact is monitored.
What do we have in common?
In this activity, students work in pairs to draw a Venn diagram to explore the things they have in common and the things that make them different.
It can be used as an icebreaker at the start of the year or term or to encourage the expansion of friendship groups.
Each pair will take turns to make a statement about themselves. If their partner can respond Me too or Me neither, they can write a statement in the space where the circles overlap to show that they have this in common or outside of this if it is something.
My students loved this activity and a their chance to put a smile on someone else’s face.
We discussed ways to bring each other up by way of inspirational quotes, suggestions for things to do to take a break or refocus such as “Grab a drink of water”, “Do 5 star jumps” and even things like, “Ask (name) to tell you a joke to make you laugh or smile”.
We had an area set up where students could add something to our board or look for inspiration or ideas when needed.
Throw Shoutouts Like Confetti
This display is up in my classroom. My students are invited to give a ‘shoutout’ to any of their peers who have done something nice for them.
Many students thanked their peers for helping them, picking up their pencil case when it was left behind, being kind and the list goes on.
Links to friendship stories on Youtube
- Acrostic poem using ‘friend’ or your friend’s name
- Recipe for friendship
- Friendship bracelet
- Share a story that means something to you or is a special memory of you and you your friend
I hope this post has give you some ideas on how to celebrate International Day of Friendship and to keep it going throughout the year. Feel free to share your ideas by commenting on this post…