Who would have thought that Microsoft Word could be so powerful?

Taken from glogster imagesOver the last few weeks in one of my lessons we had been doing a lot of group work, we coach our students in Year 7 & 8 to work more effectively in a group by practicing these skills that they develop. With this particular class they had been struggling with group work particularly when I put them in the groups myself and took them out of their friendship group therefore out of their comfort zones. This class used to be really good at this perhaps they had become to get set in their ways as we had not practiced this for a while.

So I basically decided to do a lesson on friendship – I have a lesson I used to use with particularly tough classes but haven’t used it for a while. It focuses on what good friendship is and what it is not, it explores the way we should treat people. Students work in groups on coming up with the ten rules for good friendship, they then design what a friendship licence would look like and what it would include in the license. Finally they design a job description for someone who was part of the friendship police who monitor the rules and a list of sanctions of what happens when people break the rules. Although some of this is fictional, the students start to see that actually the friendship police do exist within the school but may be the role taken by a mentor, their tutor or even one of their friends.

The students recorded their group discussions on word and then presented their findings to the rest of the class, the rest of the group as questions about what they presented. This was an extremely effective lesson that did improve the relations within the groups almost instantly. Just check out some of the text I have copied from their word documents below, it is really powerful stuff. I did this with 12 year olds but the lesson works with almost any age:

10 rules for friendship

  1. Treat people with respect
  2. Never make a promise if you can’t keep it.
  3. Keep people’s secrets if they confide in you.
  4. Trust people.
  5. Always tell people the truth.
  6. Never talk behind their back.
  7. Never take someone else’s stuff without their permission.
  8. Treat all people with kindness.
  9. Always compliment people.

10.  Make people feel good about themselves.

The friendship licence

Carry the friendship licence around with you, it contains things like your name, age, who your friends are, a warning about abiding to the rules of friendship.

As part of the licence you must show the following qualities:

In order to have this licence you must:

  • Be a friend to a person for at least a month
  • Stick to the friendship code
  • No fall outs

The Friendship Police

Will be proactive rather than reactive

Talk through people’s problems

Take people away for time out

Focus on solutions and how to resolve conflict

The attributes the friendship police must have are:








Talking behind a friends back – License taken away from you for 1 week

Excluding a friend – 3 points on your license

Excluding a friend x 2 – 6 points on your license

Excluding a friend often – Licence taken away until further notice

Disrespecting a friends property – 5 points on your license


on “Who would have thought that Microsoft Word could be so powerful?
8 Comments on “Who would have thought that Microsoft Word could be so powerful?
  1. I love this idea, we have been having some low grade friendship grumbles in my year 5 class, I think I will take this idea and see how I can adapt it to suit my age 9 – 10 years old. Thanks inspiring as always

  2. Like most tech tools, it’s how they are used to enhance learning that makes them powerful. A tool needs to be used imaginatively and creatively in order to harness its potential when we are working with children – and without effective harnessing we might as well abandon the tech and use pencil and paper! Sounds as though this was a great and effective use of the technology tool to enhance the learning!

  3. I have been visiting various blogs for my Term Papers Research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information… Regards…

  4. How great is it that they took to a device (whatever device) and found a way to express thoughts that they probably didn’t know that they had. How often do we think about the rules of friendship? (sssh don’t tell, but I do believe that my class will be designing rules and consequences pertaining to being good friends)

  5. I liked this a lot. I just wonderd if you considered using something like “Wallwisher” so that they could see and maybe comment or applaud each other’s ideas?
    I think that it could lead them to preparing a Prezi showing their own videos on their thoughts and reflections on what they did and why and including any art work or writing that they want to put into it. This Prezi could then be shown to other pupils so that their work has influence (hopefully in a positive way) on others.

  6. Pingback: Global Connections – Team Work | classroom chronicles

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