May 2, 2016

My Best Friend Is Moving

Everyone dreads hearing, "My best friend is moving."

The concept of a friend leaving can be really tough for our little ones to handle. For the most part, they don’t understand why their friends or leaving or how to handle the emotions that accompany the loss of a good friend. My kids are too young to be able to text, email or stay connect via social media. A friend moving feels so permanent and confusing. 

Friends are a big deal to our little ones, we know it can be hard for them to cope with the change of their friend switching schools. I experienced the intense emotions that come with the statement, “I’m moving” first hand when one of my favorite little girls broke the news to her bestie that she was moving out of state the following week.

I watched the two emotional little girls cry and hold each other as they shared memories of how much their friendship meant to one another. It was truly heart breaking watching the out pour of raw emotion.

To help ease the pain, I designed the "My Best Friend is Moving, BFF Memory Book." This is a fun activity that the two besties did together before the big move to reflect on all the fun times they had together during their friendship. I wanted to put the focus on how much fun they had together while allowing them to create something that they both could keep. I figured it would help them process their emotions in a somewhat fun way (as much fun as you can have knowing your friend is leaving).

The Memory Books were easy to make. Using double side printing, I made one copy of Book A and one copy of Book B and then stapled along the left hand side to bind the pages like a book. 

I then gave each student a Memory Book, one received Book A and the other Book B, the labels are in the bottom right hand cover of the book so it is easy to keep them straight. 

The students then worked together to complete both books. There are questions on each page directed specifically towards Friend A or Friend B. For example, in Friend B’s Book it would say, “Friend A, what impact did your friend have on you?” Friend B would pass their book over and Friend A would answer this question.

Students have to pay special attention to who is being asked to answer the question. If it asks for friend A, friend A completes that page. If it asks for friend B, friend B completes the page. 

This means that even though each of the two books belongs to a specific student, they will both be sharing the activities inside both books.

In the end, they will have two completed books filled with their memories together. Each of them can keep one book forever to look back at all the fun they had together. It may sound a bit confusing, but it is really easy when it is in action.

It is fun watching them pass the books back and forth and reading all the sweet notes they wrote to each other. 

I’ve also thought about using this activity as a whole class activity with fifth graders who may be going to different middle schools. I would have them complete it with their shoulder partners. That way everyone (in theory) ends the year with a memory book that makes them feel great about themselves.

There is also a My Friend Moved Memory Book” for use with students whose friend moved unexpectedly.

If you decide to use this resource too, I hope it eases your student’s pain and helps preserve the beauty of their friendship. 

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