Learning Library

CREATE Friendships

Help students make new friends!

As you plan back to school activities, help children develop skills to create friendships that will build a vibrant and successful learning community.


Learning Areas: Social-Emotional, Social Studies, Art

Time Commitment: More than 1 hour

Grades: 2-5

Activity Synopsis:

Provide opportunities and strategies to get to know one another. Students view and discuss six ways to create and deepen relationships, sketch actions that use the strategies, present drawings and describe observed behaviors, and finally compare and contrast their art to that of others and to school goals.

Materials list:

  • CREATE™ Relationships chart on a poster or board
  • Drawing Paper
  • Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils®
  • Crayola Colors of the World® Crayons, Markers, or Colored Pencils


RESPOND. Students will:

  • Read the six tips for creating new relationships from the CREATE Relationships chart and discuss what each strategy would look like in action.
  • Think about ways the CREATE Relationships tips can help them get to know others in meaningful ways.


CREATE. Students will:

  • Create a sketch that represents a way they could use one or more of the tips to develop a new relationship or deepen a friendship with someone.
  • Choose drawing materials such as colored pencils, markers, and crayons that will help their art draw attention to important interactions and social-emotional cues.
  • Title their art with a description of the scene or an inspirational quote that addresses why that specific tip matters in a relationship.


PRESENT. Ask students to:

  • Present their art and explain what inspired their drawing and its title.
  • Describe behaviors they have observed or tried that demonstrate how one or more of these tips can help them move from being new acquaintances to caring and collaborative friends.


CONNECT. Students will:

  • Consider and discuss how their art is alike and different from sketches that other students drew.
  • If your school has goals to increase kindness, social and emotional learning, or diversity and inclusion, discuss how these are supported by the CREATE Relationships


Learn More:

  • Discuss how these relationship resources could be useful throughout the learning community and in the broader circles of neighborhoods and towns.
  • There are many frameworks for social-emotional learning. CASEL Social Emotional Competencies are at https://casel.org/sel-framework/
  • Crayola offers lessons, projects, webinars, and other support at https://www.crayola.com/education

    Originally posted 2024

    Monthly tips, ideas, giveaways, and help.

    Bonus: Get free teacher-theme Zoom backgrounds when you subscribe!