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True friendship: Getting on and falling out

To emphasize the feelings people have when they fall out with their friends (SEAL theme 2: Getting on and falling out).

by Jude Scrutton

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To emphasize the feelings people have when they fall out with their friends (SEAL theme 2: Getting on and falling out).

Preparation and materials

  • Mini ‘Post-it’ notes in four colours. You need an equal number of each colour and enough Post-its to give one to each child. (If you expect 200 children, therefore, you would need 50 of each colour.)
  • Divide the hall or classroom into quarters, one area for each colour, using cones that relate to the colours.
  • Have a Post-it in a fifth colour.
  • As the children come into the hall, give each child a Post-it, and tell the children to go to the quarter of the hall where there’s a cone marked with their colour.
  • When a child enters who you know will give some thoughtful answers to the questions you are intending to ask, give this child the Post-it in the fifth colour. (You may like to brief this child.)
  • Include the teachers.


  1. Wait for all the children to be settled into their right places. (The child with the odd colour Post-it should look a bit out of place, a bit lost.) Ask everyone how they felt when they found their groups, and saw that they were with lots of other people.

    Ask if they are sitting with people they know, and if they are also with people they wouldn’t normally sit with.

    Ask how it feels to be with lots of other people they know. How does it feel to be with some people they are not usually with?

    Ask how it felt to have somewhere safe to go and to feel part of a group.
  2. Suddenly realize that there’s a child in the room who’s looking lost. Act dumb and tell this child to get a move on. Say: ‘Sort yourself out and join your group.’

    When the child begins to explain, accuse him or her of being late/of being rude/of not listening. Tell the child to hurry up and get into the right colour area or go to the head teacher’s office.

    As the child tries to explain, ask, ‘What’s wrong?’

    As he or she says that there’s no colour group to go to, ask, ‘Why not? Why won’t you fit into the red group, or the yellow group?’
  3. Then ask what it felt like, not having anywhere to go and not being able to fit in with another group.

    Did anyone say that it didn’t matter about the Post-it and to join their group anyway?
  4. Now ask all the children if anyone is prepared to accept this child, despite the fact that the Post-it doesn’t fit in with their group’s identity.

    Ask how they think they would have felt if they had been the ones with no group to be with.

    Ask if anything like this has ever happened to them in real life, either in the playground or when playing with friends outside of school.
  5. Ask if these feelings are similar to the times when they fall out with one another.

    Discuss how they’ve felt when they’ve fallen out with their friends. If someone was left feeling alone, without anyone to play with, how could better solutions have been reached?

Time for reflection

Falling out and making friends happens all the time. But it’s important that we think about other people’s feelings and make sure that no one feels isolated and alone.


Help me, O God, to be

a good and true friend;

to be always loyal,

and never to let my friends down;

never to talk about them

behind their backs in ways

I would not do before their faces;

never to betray a confidence

or talk about the things

about which I ought to be silent;

always to be ready to share

everything I have;

to be as true to my friends
as I would wish them to be to me.

This I ask for the sake of Jesus Christ,
who is the greatest and the truest of all friends;
for your love’s sake,


‘There are hundreds of sparrows’ (Come and Praise, 15)
‘Let love rule’ by Lenny Kravitz (widely available to download)

Publication date: October 2011   (Vol.13 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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