The Worst Best Friend by Alexis O’Neill is a great book to read with students. It deals with friendship, and what happens when one friend meets a new friend and forgets about his old friend. I like to use this book to talk to students about friendship at the beginning of the school year, and especially about the importance of making new friends (you can never have enough friends), but also about remembering to keep old friendships that have already been developed. We talk about things they can do to make their old friends feel valued and important, while continuing to meet new friends.
This is also a good story to help students access their background knowledge about friendship and make connections to self. Your students have lots of experience dealing with friendships. So, they already know a lot about friendships and can bring their experiences (background knowledge) to help them understand the story and its message. They will undoubtedly have lots personal stories that will help the make good connections to the story, and help them understand the characters.
The following worksheets are worksheets I have developed for my students to help:
- Access their background before we read the text (worksheet)
- Use what they already knew before reading, adding what they have learned from the text and our discussions, and bringing it altogether to show how they will keep old friends they value, while making new friends. (poster girl and boy)
- Pre-reading worksheet (8 1/2 x11 paper) – Accessing your prior knowledge
- Make New Friends Poster…… (11 x 17 paper) - girl version
- Make New Friends Poster…… (11 x 17 paper) - boy version