Teaching Civics with Children’s Literature: That’s What Friends Are For


Thats What Friends Are For, written and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev, is a book that teaches a great lesson about compassion for your friends.  The book features a goat who wakes up excited for dinner with his friend pig that night.  When he looks out the window he sees his friend pig crying in his house.  He goes through a number of things that he could be crying about including having a pie stolen, his flowers ruined, his house flooded, and his shirt burned.  Goat is so worried he prepares for all of these possibilities and heads over to help pig out.  When he gets there his friend asks if he can help with dinner by slicing onions, and we find out that the onions were the reason pig was crying.  The story shows a great lesson on how to treat others with caring and compassion and can be extended for grades K through 3.

Curriculum Connections
This book would be good way tolook at VA SOL K.8 and 1.10 which focus on treating others with kindness.

Additional Resources

  • Lesson Plan Pages has an activity for students to make an autograph book for each student that is designed to focus on friendship among the classmates.
  • Merry Bee presents a list of extension activities that can be related to the book including crossover curriculum connections with science.
  • Can Teach provides a list of lyrics for songs based on friendship that can be used in young classrooms.

Book: Thats What Friends Are For
Author: Valeri Gorbacev
Valeri Gorbacev
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: June 2005
Pages: 32 pages
Grade Range: K-3

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