Friendship Salad: Building Community In Your Class

Every Friday in our classroom we have Foodie Fun Friday where we cook or make some kind of snack.  It’s a great way to end our week and a great way to meet standards, build language and vocabulary and more importantly, HAVE FUN!  Plus we get to eat.  And who doesn’t love to eat?    One of our back-to-school traditions and  first Foodie Fun Friday snacks is friendship salad.
This is a great lesson on the type of classroom we want and how we can be good friends in our classroom!  It’s a very concrete lesson for a very abstract idea for our kids.  And it’s yummy.  And trust me when I say it sticks with the kids for the entire year!
We start the lesson with a read-aloud of The Boy With The Rainbow Heart by Will Mason.  This is the perfect book for this lesson because it’s about love, tolerance, and acceptance!

As with any food activities, be aware of allergies and dietary restrictions.  We have TWO documents for each student that lists allergies and dietary restrictions for each student.  We modify recipes as needed with input and suggestions from families.
You need:
large bowl
several cans of fruit (a variety of fruits…no fruit salad!)
Vanilla yogurt
mini marshmallows
rotten banana
Begin by discussing the type of classroom you want.  Have students share their ideas.  Guide the discussion to kindness, hard work, happiness.
Show the students a large bowl and tell them that this is your classroom and we’re going to talk about the type of classroom we want. 

Kind Kids

Open 1 can of fruit.  Explain that this the kind kids we want in our classroom.  Have students discuss what kindness looks like in your classroom.  Pour the fruit into the bowl.

Hard Workers

Add another can of fruit and discuss that there are the hard workers.  Discuss what hard work means and looks like.

Sharing Kids

Add more fruit.  Explain that these are kids who share.  Talk about sharing and why we share.

Kind Words

Next, add marshmallows.  Explain that these are the kind words we will use in our classroom.  Discuss what kind words are and how many kinds words are in our classroom.


 Add the yogurt and explain that this the happiness in our classroom.  Discuss what happiness feels like and what we can do to make our classroom happy.

Discuss what our classroom looks like.  You’ll hear good…yummy… Talk about whether this is a classroom you want to be in. Get kids excited about that classroom and being part of that room.

No Rotten Bananas!

Finally,  tell your students you have 1 more thing to add to your classroom and pull out a rotten banana.  Start to peel it.  Hopefully  the kids are grossed out.  And they will be very expressive about that rotten banana. Discuss if they want that in their class and why or why not.

(TIP:  Put the banana in the freezer to make it rot faster!)

Discuss that we don’t want any rotten bananas in our classroom.

This is the part that you will hear all year.  Your kids will reference the rotten banana when people are mean or not doing the right thing.  It will resonate all year!  And sometimes I’ll even ask if we want rotten bananas.  This is effective when the class has an issue in related arts or the lunch room.  It’s a great reminder of who we want to be and who we are!


This recipe and 33 other fun recipes for the classroom are included in our Foodie Fun Friday set 1 resource!


For more back to school ideas, check out these posts:


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