Grades K-2
Grades 3-5

What Makes a Good Friend

Engage students in a discussion about the qualities that make someone a good friend and kind actions they can take for others.

Activity Partner
Total time estimate:
15-20 minutes
Activity Objectives
  • Students will consider the qualities of a good friend, such as the way they speak to, and act toward, others
  • Then, students will reflect on their shared values, needs, and ideas around friendship, and consider ways they can be better friends to others based on what they learned

This activity supports the development of the following social-emotional skills: relationship skills and social awareness.


Ask students to think about a friend that they have. How did they become friends? What do they like about the other person? How do they treat each other?

Have students brainstorm qualities that make someone a good friend. Then, students should fill out the handout below by using the following questions to guide their work: 

  • What is something kind you could do for a friend?
  • What does it sound like when we speak kindly to our friends?
  • What are examples of kind thoughts and how do they help those around us?

Share your students’ artwork with your Empatico partner class (e.g., through a live virtual exchange or a tool like Flipgrid, Wakelet, or Padlet). Invite students to describe kind actions they can do for their friends, explain what qualities make a good friend, and discover similarities between their ideas.


Guide students through a post-activity reflection by asking the following questions: 

  • Which way do you think will be the hardest to show kindness - the way you think, speak, or act?
  • Did you learn about a new way to be kind from your partner classmates? What was it?
  • How can we show kindness in other parts of our life (e.g., to our family members and loved ones, community members, etc.)? 

This activity was created in partnership with the Merrills EDU.

Did you finish this activity? We'd love your input.