Introducing the Inquiry Unit

Introducing the Inquiry Unit

Time: approximately 30–45 minutes
Grouping: whole class, partners, and individuals


  • Open the conversation about friends by connecting to students’ personal experiences with friends. Students may give examples of what kinds of activities they might do with a friend.


  • Ask students to share with a partner the name of a special friend and why this friend is special to them. Have a few students share their responses with the group.
  • My friend is special because we like to do the same kinds of things, such as walking together, cooking, and going to the theatre and art shows. When she broke her leg, I visited her and did jobs for her around the house.

    Begin by modelling a personal experience of your own and then inviting the children to share their own personal experiences.
  • Offer prompts to stimulate oral sharing and discussion:
    • What do you and your friend like to do together?
    • Have you ever helped your friend? How?
    • What friends do you have who are the same age as you? What friends are older or younger than you?
    • Do you have any friends who live far away from where you live?
  • Think about all the things you do with your special friend. Pick the activity that makes your friend the most happy. My picture would show me making dinner for my friend.

    Invite students to draw or paint a picture of themselves doing something with a special friend.
  • Circulate around the class as students create their pictures and ask them to explain what is happening in their drawing. Have each student label or write (or scribe yourself) an idea about their picture on their paper. Help students to say words ‘as slow as a snail’ and record the sounds they can hear.
  • Why is this friend so special? What is it that you and your friend especially like to do?

    Students can share their pictures with a partner or with the group, reading their recorded messages or talking about their picture. Keep the discussion focused on the topic.

Teaching Tip: Display student drawings together on a bulletin board with a title for the display such as ‘Friends,’ ‘We Are Friends,’ ‘Friends Together.’


  • Over the next few days, we are going to be thinking about ‘Why should we be friends?’ We will start by looking at what all people have in common, or how they are the same. This will help us start to understand why we should be friends.

    Tell students that the class will be learning about friendship and why we should be friends.