by Sarah Robinson – Primary Teacher, Outside Education

Learning outcomes:

  • To know that we can experience difficulties with our friendships.
  • To realise that friends make mistakes: they might do or say things that can make us feel sad or upset.
  • To deal with our uncomfortable feeling when this happens.


  • Book: Blue Penguin by Petr Horacek
  • Paper
  • Writing tools
  • Paint
  • Resource sheet for session 6 (included below)
  • Scissors and glue stick

Activity: Read and discuss Blue Penguin

Key points:

  • At the start of the story the penguins are cold and unfriendly towards Blue Penguin. Although they didn’t use particularly unkind words, their actions were unkind and this can be just as hurtful.
  • Blue Penguin was isolated by his friends. Notice how BP deals with his sadness. He takes some time out and sings songs. He chooses an activity he enjoys and indulges in his passion.
  • There are many different ways to deal with difficult experiences. In this instance BP chose not to talk about his sadness but communicated in singing instead.
  • There isn’t always an easy solution to problems and there’s no set strategy when confronted with a difficult situation.
  • BP might have found it difficult to find the right words to use with the other penguins. Perhaps we could help BP talk about his feelings. What would you say?

Activity: Write a speech bubble for Blue Penguin

  • Can you help BP by giving him an extra strategy? Help BP use words to communicate by making him a speech bubble. Put yourself in BP’s shoes (or flippers!). How would you feel? What would you like to say to the other penguins? Eg: I would like to be friends. It makes me feel sad when you ignore me. What do you find different about me? Ask an adult to write the words for you if this is tricky.

Activity: Make a Ways To Feel Better poster

****download Growth Mindset 6 Resource Sheet****

  • First create a painted print of your hand on blank paper (make sure you place your hand near the bottom part of the paper).
  • Now look at the sheet and choose 5 picture-strategies you’d like to try and cut them out. Stick the pictures at the ends of each finger once the paint is dry.
  • Remember: there’s no right or wrong way to deal with a problem. You might need to express your frustrations by squeezing a pillow or by cuddling your teddy. You might not feel like talking straight away but want a chat with your mum half an hour later.
  • Stick your poster on your wall as a reminder of the possible strategies you could try out when difficult feelings arise.
  • When you’re out and about and you feel upset or angry, look down at your own hand as a reminder of the 5 different ways you could deal with your uncomfortable feelings.