by J.A. Ginsburg
Everything a young child learns—in school and at home—is important, but one of the most important and certainly delightful social skills is learning how to make a friend.
When Emma’s family moves to See-and-Learn City, Emma loves her new room, her new yard and her new neighborhood. She and Pickle, her exceptionally adorable green bulldog, have fun playing together, but both wish they had some new friends, too.
Pickle spots a pretty pink butterfly (we’ll call her “Pinky”), while Emma gazes wistfully at a little girl (Freda) and a little boy (Percy) playing next door.
The next day Emma saw Freda playing alone, building a great big castle in her backyard. When Freda looked up, Emma smiled. Freda smiled back!
Then Emma asked is she could play, too. “Sure,” said Freda.
Then Emma helped Freda by giving here a block for the castle’s tower. They started to build together.
Then Emma offered to share one of her toys to add to the project.
By the time Percy arrives, not only has Freda decided that they have a new friend, but Freda and Emma are literally on the same page of of the storybook!
Percy loves to make new friends. And when Freda and Percy give Emma a hug, it was the best “friendwich” ever!
As for Pickle and Pinky, it was like they had known each other forever!
The storytelling—as with all Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn books—is kept simple and clear and supported by illustrations designed to provide behavioral models. Free downloadable pdf “Closer Look” posters are available online.
FEEDBACK THAT WARMS THE HEART…
from Nicole P., a mom and Early Childhood Special Education Community Teacher in Oregon:
I just wanted to share a story about the books with you. This week a head start teacher I work with that I loaned the whole set to had this to say about the books: “At first I have to be honest with you I thought they would not have an impact on the the kid’s, but the kid’s love these books. They have all memorized the stories after reading them twice for each book and I am now hearing them use the language from the book in their play interactions together. They are saying things like, ‘let’s work together and cooperate.’ I have to admit these books are great.”
One of the students I work with in her classroom asked me to read the books to her. She typically has difficulties with peer interactions and she was explaining to me how she asked a friend in the class to play with her just like Emma and that she remembered to smile and that she made a friend.
That means that so far in one classroom these books have impacted the lives of 20 students. I split the other set up and I have been rotated them between three different sites and the kids response has been positive as well. We are definitely seeing an improvement in social interactions but the books are only have of it I think they also give the adults an opening to model interactions that the children see in the books and it gives everyone a frame of reference and makes that dialog easy.
Now that’s a friendwich! Thanks, Nicole!
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MISS CATHY RECOMMENDS:
- Children’s Books on Making Friends / Compiled by NAEYC Stuart always says—and I agree—that if a child enjoys learning by reading books (or having books read to her), then get more books!
- Why Friends are Important / by Carol Sjostrom Miller, Parents magazine Great tips! I especially like 5 year old Joshua’s “pick up line”: “Hi, my name is Joshua!” It’s simple, friendly and engaging. I would want to be Joshua’s friend, wouldn’t you?
- Benefits of SEL / Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL): Good social and emotional learning skills improve “young people’s academic success, health, and well-being…(and prevent)…a variety of problems such as alcohol and drug use, violence, truancy, and bullying.” Count me in!
Be sure to check out all of Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn books, including titles in Spanish! Stuart’s Level 1 MathStart books are perfect for Pre-K. You can follow us on twitter and Facebook. Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter, too! (sample)