Friendship Without Barriers


  • Students will understand what they can do to make friends.
  • Students will understand the things they do to discourage friendship.

Materials Needed: 

  • Poster paper and markers

The Lesson
This lesson examines what it means to be a friend. Many of the stories in this book address friendship. This lesson compares unkind or unfriendly behaviors with kind or friendly behaviors. It is especially relevant to the study of "Papalotzin and the Monarchs/Papalotzin y las monarcas" and "Old Joe and the Carpenter," but it can be adapted for use as a friendship theme for any of the stories.

Discuss of the image of the wall in "Papalotzin and the Monarchs/Papalotzin y las monarcas" or the bridge in "Old Joe and the Carpenter." Use these questions as a guide:

  • Why do you think the Great North would build a wall around itself or Old Joe would want a fence? Why do you think this? Are there both good reasons and bad reasons?
  • Have you ever seen someone you know "wall out" someone else? What was that like? Have you ever had a friend make an apology -- "build a bridge" -- after saying or doing something hurtful? What was that like?
  • How do you think it feels to be kept out of something you want to be a part of, or to be put on the other side of a wall or a fence?
  • If someone puts up a wall or fence, what do you think you can do to tear it down? How would you do that?

Extension Activity: 

After the discussion, have students make two lists. The first is what
others might say to put up a wall. For example, "You can't play with us

The second is a list of things others say to tear walls down/build
bridges. For example, "We would like it if you played with us at recess
today." Keep the two lists up in the classroom and refer back to them
as necessary.

As an alternative activity, have students write a letter to a character
in one of the stories, describing how the character behaves to encourage
or discourage friendship.