Hunter’s Best Friend at School – Laura Malone Elliott (Discontinued)
Hunter’s Best Friend at School
Written by Laura Malone Elliott
Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Hunter and Stripe are best friends. They love to do everything together, like dress in striped sweaters, read the same stories, and even eat the same lunch. But when Stripe arrives at school one day in a ‘mischief-making mood’ and starts stirring up trouble in Mr. Ringtail’s class, Hunter follows along and finds himself doing things he normally would not do on his own.
This is a great story to discuss the issue of peer pressure. It provides ideas for students to avoid peer pressure and ways students can positively influence their friends.
What is the difference between ‘reporting’ and ‘tattling’?
Reporting is when a student tells an adult because s/he genuinely wants the behaviour to stop and the problem to be solved.
Tattling is when a student tells an adult because s/he wants to get the person in trouble.
Luna told the teacher, Mr. Ringtail, that Hunter and Stripe were making her sick. Is this an example of ‘reporting’ or ‘tattling’ and why? (Luna probably does feel sick and genuinely wants the behavior to stop. This is a good example of ‘reporting’.)
Stripe eventually cut up his frog and encouraged Hunter to do the same. Hunter then cut up his frog.
Have you ever done something you did not want to do because of pressures from a friend? This is called peer pressure.
After Hunter cut up his frog, he cried. Why? What was he feeling?
What are some ways that Hunter helped his best friend? (He uses body language, moves away, ignores and encourages.)
Being a best friend does not always mean you have to follow along. It also means helping your friends. Can you think of some ways that we can help each other in this classroom when we are faced with peer pressure and sometimes are tempted to behave inappropriately?
At the end of the story, Stripe told Hunter that he was his best friend. Why do you suppose Stripe was so happy with Hunter? (Stripe feels better about himself when he is behaving well. Stripe was thankful that Hunter is a positive influence on him.)
Sometimes other people say or do things we do not like and then we get frustrated or angry. Sometimes we do something to get back at them and then think that what we do is their fault. We must remember that we are responsible only for our own behaviour, just like Hunter is responsible for his own behaviour. Stripe did not make Hunter cut up his frog.
Being responsible usually makes good things happen at home and at school. The more responsible we are, the more people trust us. Being responsible is a great thing to do because it helps you feel secure and will build your confidence.
Fin’s Tales – Can You Help?
“I love to play hockey with my friends. Not all of my friends can skate very well but we still let everyone play. One time, one of my friends on my team was on a breakaway when he slipped and fell before he was able to score a goal. Everyone teased him because he didn’t score the goal. I was disappointed that he didn’t score the goal, too, and felt a bit mad.”
I felt pressure by my friends to tease him even though I know it is not right.
What should I do in this situation? How do I handle the pressure?