In the interest of transparency, I have to tell you that I was asked to review this book - Friendship is Like a Seesaw. It is a book in the A BIG HUG series by clinical psychologist and author Shona Innes.
For my USA readers - we call teeter-totters 'seesaws' here in Australia. You can find these books stocked in the USA HERE
I didn't have to think twice, I didn't need to be convinced and I didn't need to go and buy the book! It was on my shelf already (you may have noticed that I shared it on Instagram last year). Furthermore, I had planned to do a lesson with this book early in our first week back at school.
Thinking back to when I purchased this book, I remember seeing it on the shelf and grabbing it swiftly and tucking it under my arm. Experienced teachers know straight away what is going to resonate with children. Instantly I knew that explaining friendship with the visual of a seesaw was simply perfect.
I adore how the book explains that sometimes in a friendship, someone is up, and the other person is down. It goes further to explain what might happen to make someone feel down, and how to go about getting things back 'in balance'.
So many books I have read in the past about friendship, have students thinking that things always have to be peachy-keen and cupcakes. I love that this book helps students understand that it is normal for friendships to be out of balance at times - and it is not the end of the world.
I could already tell that it would be a great staple to have on hand for all those times when students return from outdoor play, red-eyed and blubbering with tears. When they feel upset, hurt and frustrated that their friends have let them down in some way. Just reading this story will help them calm down and realise that things can be fixed.
I would suggest making a chart as you read this book for a second time, and as a class write down everything that you have learned about friendships. Ask students to contribute some of their own ideas as well.
Talk about how friendship looks when it is balanced and how we know it is working for both people. Talk about the sorts of things that happen to make someone feel 'down' and then how we work this out and repair it with some 'friendship skills' or 'tools'. Your students can draw a picture or write about each of these on this worksheet I made. It is a worksheet I have been using for years, but I added a seesaw visual to tie it in to the story.
Find the FREE worksheet on google drive HERE
I would love to build my library of books about friendship, especially for this time of year - if you have some favourites, please leave a comment and let me know.
Have a wonderful day.