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Big Bend Friendship Book

School: The College School

City/State: St. Louis, MO

Grade(s): Pre-K

Format(s): Children's book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Visual Arts

Project Overview

This children’s book was created by the Big Bend pre-kindergarten class at The College School in St. Louis, Missouri.

Each page of the book is dedicated to a student of the Big Bend class. Each student’s page includes a drawn portrait, a photograph, and a “verbal self-portrait,” where the student gives an explanation to a teacher and to other children of what matters the most to him or her.

Children at the pre-kindergarten level are very young, and most are experiencing a structured education for the first time. At The College School, children are encouraged to think about the importance of cooperation, teamwork, imagination and friendship in the school setting. As students explore their relationships in class, they also express the ideas they come across to teachers and to other students. In this book, each child explains what it means to respect friends, to get along well with others, to learn to trust others, and to create a community. 

Since 1992, teachers and educators at The College School have supported the Reggio Approach as the teaching model for effective early childhood education. This teaching philosophy proposes that children form their individual identities during the pivotal years of early childhood. The College School strives to create a nurturing classroom environment, a place for children to learn through listening, moving, hearing, seeing, and interacting. Educators of the Big Bend class have embraced the idea that children must learn to function as a community, and that children must be given limitless opportunities for self-expression.

The Big Bend class pairs the curiosity of young students with opportunities for reflection and articulation of thought. The students have shared their sincere perspectives on friendship, and their teachers have documented these perspectives for parents and other educators. The last few pages of the book include commentaries by some of the children’s parents, as well as an inspiring quotation in regards to the Reggio Approach.

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can teach my reader about a topic using pictures and words.
  • With support, I can use details when I speak to send a clear message to my listener.
  • I can use pictures to send a clear message to my listener.
  • I can speak using words I hear in books.
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