Making Friends is an Art!

Making Friends is an Art - This delightful story by Julia cook helps children understand the value of friendship and everyone doing his part. This post comes with an Art related freebie!
Julia Cook has written a number of children's books dealing with sensitive issues. In her books, she has amazing ways of dealing with tough subjects in a child friendly, fun way!  Learn more about this author and her books at her website HERE.

I read Making Friends Is an Art!  to my class the other day, and I'm so glad I did! (Click image for affiliate link to Amazon.)

The story is about the brown pencil in a box of colored pencils.  It is jealous of the other colors because they get more use, and are well liked.  Red, especially, is so popular that it's been sharpened down to a stump!

Brown explores friendships with the other colors, and finds out that in order to have friends, one has to be a friend, and their first friend should be themselves!

As Brown explores himself, through the help of his color friends, he finds out he is the combination of all the other colors!

We stopped to chat several times throughout the book to discuss the different personality traits.  "Yellow always does what's right, do you know anyone like that?"  Yes, they did!  "Who do you know that's like Pink, and always listens?"  They had plenty of answers (including their teacher!)  The one that really made me smile was their response to Purple, who has hopes and dreams... they all said themselves!  (Don't you love kids?) My favorite part was that they included all the kids in the class in their comments, not just the "more popular" children.

After realizing that Brown was the combination of all the other colors, I simply had to give the kids some time to explore with paint so they could see for themselves!

Don't you love kids and paint?  I did happen to notice that most of the children included some BROWN in their pictures!

In Making Friends is an Art! Julia Cook personifies colored pencils with human characteristics.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get children to think about the character traits of their classmates.

Going along with the ART theme, I've designed a Friendship Palette for the children to take the character traits that Julia Cook gives the colored pencils in the book, and find classroom friends with the same character traits.

It was a great opportunity to look for the best in their classmates!

I made two versions of the Friendship Palette, one in color, and one that's more "printer ink" friendly, where the children can color the individual backgrounds themselves.

There are two options for sharing classmates:  The children can draw their classmates in the ovals, or the teacher can provide photographs.  I chose to use photographs, and I chose to go a little crazy in order to avoid popularity contests or children being left out.  Since I have 17 students, I made 17 different collections of photographs and rotated the faces so there were 11 per page, and each page was different.  (I'd show you, but I don't post my students' faces in public!)

It was totally worth the extra effort for me, as the children had no trouble fitting their 10 random classmates into all the spaces on the friendship palette.  Of course, their own picture went into the center for brown!
The children had fun, and spent time thinking about their friends and character traits!
Plus, I'm really glad I chose this book!  It was just perfect for my class!
Click the image or click HERE for your freebie!

Can you believe how many great books she has?  
You can buy this book and several others at her website HERE!

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