Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Friends Helping Friends

Judith Bachay


Emotional health is a component to the overall health of students. Students are presented with an opportunity to learn problem-solving skills through the lens of helping a friend. They practice effective communication skills by giving a speech.


The student uses strategies to speak clearly, (for example, rate, volume, phrasing, enunciation).


-Computers with Internet access
-Kid's Health Website (See Weblinks)
-Speaking Rubric (See Associated File)


1. Review Website and become familiar with the situations provided. (See Weblinks)
2. Bookmark Website on computers.
3. Duplicate Speaking Rubric, one per student. (See Associated File)
4. Coordinate speech time line with 4th grade classes.


1. Introduce concept:
Do you ever feel confused, angry or scared? It is normal to experience strong emotions, but we are not born knowing how to handle these feelings in ways that help us. When you reach 5th grade, you have learned many skills that help you solve problems. Yet, there are challenges that your friends have that you may not experience. Being a good friend involves helping your friends learn to identify and handle strong emotions, and solve problems in ways that help them grow emotionally. Emotional health is important to your overall health. Learning about situations that may occur in the lives of your friends will prepare you to be there for them and help. There are many problems that people face and it can be confusing to try to learn how and what to do in every situation, but you can help by giving expert advice that you learn when you research a problem.

2. Tell students they will research a topic on the selected Internet site (an area in the emotional health portion) and present the information in a speech to the 4th grade class. Making speeches helps students become confident and effective communicators. (Help students decide upon a topic and determine what information should be noted. For instance, students should find at least 3 facts that they think others might not know.)

3. Provide a copy of the Speaking Rubric (See Associated File) for each student to review. Identify and define the speech-making skills in the rubric. Teach students to provide an introduction and a closure that captures the interest of the audience. Model appropriate pacing and ask students to role-play examples. Discuss poise and how students can use voice to help their speeches make an impact on the listeners.

4. Help students practice and provide peer review using the rubric.

5. Have students deliver their speeches to the 4th grade class.


1. Assess the students' presentations using the Speaking Rubric. (See Associated File) Provide formative corrective feedback for improvement, making sure that positive affirmation is provided first.

2. Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


1. Ask students to list 10 words from their research, define, and write on a display poster.
2. Have students alphabetize list words that are important to emotional health and problem solving.
3. Students can construct a survey about topics the 4th graders would like addressed and then the 5th graders can research those specific topics.
4. Role-plays can be demonstrated from the resolution of problems identified on the Website. (See Weblinks)

Web Links

Web supplement for Friends Helping Friends
Kid's Health

Attached Files

An Assessment Rubric for Speech to Younger Students.     File Extension: pdf

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