Learning Activity for Grades 6 – 8

Expected Outcome:

Each young person will identify qualities he or she brings to a friendship and the qualities he or she looks for in a friend.

Focus Scripture: Proverbs 17:17 (NRSV)

“A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.”

Materials Needed:

    Flip chart, or large sheets of paper and markers
    “Friendship Response” cards (Print out one set of four cards per participant)
    Scissors
    “Friendship Qualities” Sheet – to aid in printing a list of qualities on the flip chart)

Tips for Youth Leaders

This activity will take a close look at what qualities youth value in their friendships. It will identify those qualities they possess and what qualities to look for in friends. Exploring and recognizing qualities of good friends will help them make more thoughtful and healthy friendship choices. Be sure to weave into the discussion the qualities that are valued in Scripture and by Christianity.

Activity Directions

Step 1. – Instruct the group to get into small groups of four to five. Supply each group with a large sheet of paper and a marker. Ask them to quickly write down a list of the qualities they value in their friends. After about three to five minutes, invite each group to present their list to the other groups. Post the lists.

Step 2. – Distribute the ‘Friendship Response” cards to each participant.

Using scissors, have each participant cut the four cards from the sheet. They will use one card to respond to each friendship quality that you will read aloud.

Using the list of friendship qualities recorded by the groups, and supplemented by the printed list provided, read the list of qualities one quality at a time and ask each person to respond by holding up the response card that indicates how important they feel that quality is to a healthy friendship. Encourage discussion after you have read a few qualities.

For each quality, count and record the number of people who respond with the “very important” card and the “not at all important” card. Review this count with the group.

Step 3. – Review the original lists of qualities they generated. What personal qualities does your faith tell you to value? Ask the young people what they notice about the lists and the way they and others responded to the different qualities as they were read aloud.

Step 4. – Ask the large group to come to consensus in identifying three friendship qualities that they feel belong in the “most important’ category. Talk about why these are so important. Congratulate the group on the many positive qualities they value in their friends. Remind the group that these qualities will help them to choose healthy friendships.

Step 5. – Read the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-37). How do the friendship qualities identified by the group compare to those qualities suggested by the story of the Good Samaritan?

Step 6. – Questions for further discussion.

    Do your friends exhibit the qualities that you think are important?
    Do you exhibit these qualities?
    Would your friends say that you “walk the talk?”

FRIENDSHIP QUALITIES

    Honesty
    Fun loving
    Good looking
    Lives near me
    Likes the same kind of music
    Likes the same kinds of food
    Strong, able to take care of her or himself
    Goes to my school
    Intelligent
    Popular
    Good sense of humor
    Has enough money to do things
    Keeps up with fashion trends
    Has the same religious beliefs as me
    Athletic
    Cares about helping others
    Owns great stuff
    Loyal
    Practices the golden rule
    Faith-centered
    Patient
    Selfless
    Generous
    Kind
    Constant

Click here for Learning Activity 5 – Handout.