Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Pencil Pals

Leslie Gortemoller
Bay District Schools


Students learn to identify and to use polite words through "I Care" Language vs. non-"I Care" Language.


The student knows various ways of communicating care and consideration of others (e.g., sharing and saying `please` and `thank you`).


-Pencil Pal document
-Word Strips: May I help you?, Please, Excuse Me, Thank You, and Can we share?


1. Access attached file and make copies for the class.
2. The teacher will need to make the word strips containing the Caring words. See Materials section for caring language.


1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that you have a friend who fell down yesterday. Go on to say that when your friend fell, no one came to help him. Ask the students what they would have done.

2. Allow students to share their thoughts. (Note: You are listening for caring statements, such as “Are you O.K.?” and “Can I help you?”)

3. Tell the students that many times we are faced with occasions to use "I-Care" language. Ask the following questions: "What would you say if your parents gave you a cookie?" (Possible answer: "Thank you.") "What would you say if you wanted to borrow a red crayon from a friend?" (Possible answer: "Please may I borrow your red crayon?" "What would you say to someone if you bumped into them in the cafeteria?" (Possible answer: "Please excuse me.") "What would you say if your friend was playing with a toy and you wanted to play with it?" (Possible answer: Can we share?)
4. Review our "I-Care" language. As students recall the "I-Care" Language, the teacher should hold up the word strips (please, thank you, may I help you, excuse me). Ask "Can we think of additional words that can be considered 'I-Care' Language?" List appropriate responses on the board.

5. Model and demonstrate a role-play with another student. (Ex. Teacher pretends to step on the student's foot. The student says, "Oh, that hurt!" The teacher responds by saying, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to step on your foot." At this time, point out the appropriate use of caring body language (ex. voice level and tone, facial expression, arms and feet).

6. Pair students to construct and to demonstrate their own examples of a role play using Caring Language. Note: Remind students to exhibit the appropriate body language when demonstrating their role play. Also, remind the students that the word strips will be available as a visual reminder.

7. Remind students to use "I-Care" Language everyday. To help them recall this information, the students will construct a pencil pal. (See associated file.)


Students should demostrate knowledge of "I Care" Language through role-playing activity. Each student will have an opportunity to construct a role-play and actively participate in its delivery. Offer feedback (cues for appropriate language) during the role-plays.
An appropriate checklist for the teacher to follow would include the following items:
1. Use appropriate body language (voice, facial expression, stance of arms and feet).
2. Use of appropriate "I-Care" Language responses.
Students who use both 1 and 2 are considered to be an Awesome Communicator. Students who use 1 or 2 are considered Communicators. Students who do not use either skill are considered Non-communicators and need to practice and improve their communicating skills.

Attached Files

Patterns for the Pencil Pal activity.     File Extension: pdf

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