Imaginary Friends, by Kalli Dakos

Introduction:  This poem is about friendship and how to cope when you are the new kid at school.  When sharing this poem you might use a pencil box or pencil case to introduce the poem.  Fill the pencil box with pencils, but place three crayons in for effect.  Ask children how they might feel if they were the only crayon among all those pencils.  Share the poem below.  

     Imaginary Friends

I didn't have a single friend
       In my new school -
            Not one.

     I felt like a crayon
     In a box of pencils.

        So I made up
   Two imaginary friends
   Who were just like me -
         Jack and Jake.

     We played together.
     And had a lot of fun
  we got into a BIG FIGHT.

          Jack and Jake
      Play with each other,
       But they won't play 
             with ME!

Extension:  Invite children to write about a time when they felt left out. Talk about the importance of having friends and being a friend. Create a list of things that you and your students can do to make a new student feel welcome and included in your classroom.

Personal note:  I shared this poem with the school guidance counselor. She was thrilled and added it to her friendship/new student file and bibliography.

Dakos, Kalli. 1996. Ill. by Denise Brunkus.  "Imaginary Friends" from The Goof Who Invented Homework and Other School Poems. New York:  Dial Books for Young Readers, p.37. 
ISBN 0-8037-1927-2 

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