It's happened to all of us at some point in our lives. We make a great friend and we become inseparable. Then one day our friend hangs out with someone else and we feel left out. In the story Flabbersmashed About You written by Rachel Vail, we witness this all-to-common playground occurrence.
At first students reactions are that Jennifer is being mean when she plays with another student, but when we look at it closer, she isn't doing anything hurtful. This is what happens when we feel left out, we quickly jump to blame the other person for hurting our feelings. We discussed that it's okay when friends want to play with someone different or play a different game than usual. We can ask to play with them or invite them to play with us altogether. We can find new friends to play with. Just because a friend plays with someone different, it doesn't mean that they aren't our friend any more. If we're feeling neglected we can suggest a play date.
I then told them about Kelso's recent problem:
Dear Lee Students,
I have two friends who want to play with me at recess. I feel like I'm stuck in the middle. If I play with one friend, the other feels bad. What should I do???
Using our discussion as a springboard, students wrote letters to help Kelso figure out his next steps:
Letters in Response to Kelso's Problem: