Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Sandwich Swap

As I shopped earlier this year, the illustration on the cover of the children's literature book, The Sandwich Swap, caught my eye. I picked up the book and began to read it...a lovely story and gorgeous illustrations! Not only does it portray a wonderful lesson about friendship, but the book can be used for a variety of other topics: conflict resolution, anger management, diversity, or active listening skills to name a few.

I used this book in my kindergarten classes for a lesson on friendship.

First, I gathered the students in front of me on the floor and introduced the book. I did a little demonstration with a willing student volunteer to illustrate the word "swap." I then asked, "If this book is titled The Sandwich Swap, what do you think the story is about?" We talked about how the girls look on the cover; their emotions, what they might be thinking or talking about, etc.

Next, I read the story. I stopped throughout to ask pertinent discussion questions. I highlighted the emotions of being friends with someone, the activities that friends do, what hummus is, the emotions of being hurt by a friend, the behavior of the bystanders, the consequences to poor choices, etc.

Finally, I had the students sit in a circle on the floor. I asked the students, "What friendly activities did the girls do in the beginning of the story?" I said, "Later, the girls realized that each other's sandwiches looked unusual. The truth is, all of us enjoy eating different things, but that doesn't mean we should ever say EEEWWW to our friend or argue with them because of it. We need to really cherish how different we are!"

Prior to the lesson, I printed out (on card stock) life size colored pictures of all the sandwich toppings (and breads) I could think of and laminated them. Toppings such as: mayonnaise, olives, tomatoes, lettuce, ketchup, chips, ham, cheese, hummus, and various types of breads, etc. I showed the students each of these pictures and laid them out on the floor in the middle of the circle. I put down a long piece of paper on the floor titled: Our Friendship Sandwich. Students were directed to choose a sandwich topping, pick it up and add it to the sandwich we were "building" on top of the large piece of paper (going lengthwise on the paper - putting one topping on at a time). Each student then had to tell us something friendly they enjoy doing with a friend. The sandwich was built on the left of the paper and I wrote the friendly acts along side each topping.

After every student had a turn to add a topping, we pretended to eat our huge friendship sandwich. No "yuck" comments from anyone!



  1. Thank you for all the great ideas using the book, The Sandwich Swap. They're also easily adapted to older grades.