Matthew and Tilly, by Rebecca C. Jones

Matthew and Tilly are best friends, they do everything together.  But sometimes even best friends fight.  Find out how Matthew and Tilly get their friendship back on track.


  •   Unsweetened lemonade mix, sugar, pitcher
  •   Grocery or gift bags
  •   Old receipts
  •  Several boxes (liquor store sized)


  • Sick of each other (to grow tired of being with someone all the time)

Before Reading the Story

 Introduce the book by saying that the story today is about two friends.  Attach a piece of paper to the wall and write, ‘Things I do with my friends/Things I do alone’.  Talk to the children about how there are many things that we can do and like to do with our friends.  Write their responses on the paper.  Then ask them about  things that they can do alone and write these on the other side.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Reading the Story

When you get to the page where the crayon gets broken point out the body and facial expressions, ask the children how they would feel if someone called them stinky and stupid (mad, sad, hurt).  Do you think they can still be friends?  Then continue reading.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for varied other purposes.

After Reading the Story

Begin a discussion about friends.  If someone is your friend, do you have to play with them all the time? Can you have more then one friend?  If you and a friend fight, what can you do?  If you want to play with someone, what can you do?  This discussion works well with puppets.  As you discuss the questions and the problem solving, you can use the puppets to act it out.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; develops growing understanding of how their actions affect others and begins to accept the consequence of their actions.  AND Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; grows in recognizing and solving problems through active exploration, including trial and error, and interactions and discussions with peers and adults.


 Matthew and Tilly made lemonade in the story.  Make lemonade with the children.  Before adding all the sugar, let the children taste the lemonade.  What does sugar do to food?

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Music and Movement 

  Ahead of time, write each child’s name on a piece of paper.  Teach the children the song, There is a Friend at My School (sung to BINGO). Hold up a name, point out the letters as you sing, and let the children call the name out at the end of the verse

There is a friend in my class,

Can you guess his/her name-o?

K-e-r-r-y, K-e-r-r-y, K-e-r-r-y

And Kerry is her name-o.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; knows that letters of the alphabet are a special category of visual graphics that can be individually named.  AND Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; shows progress in associating the names of the letters with their shapes and sounds.


 Tell the children that you need their help.  You have some boxes that you want to use to hold books, store materials in the closet, etc..  You need the children to work with a friend or friends to paint them for you. Put out the boxes, paint, brushes and/or rollers.  When they are finished make sure to thank them for helping you. 

Approaches to Learning/Engagement & Persistence; grows in abilities to persist in a nd complete a variety of tasks, activites, projects, and experiences.  AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; shows increasing abilities to use compromise and discussion in working, playing, and resolving conflict with peers.

Sand and Water

 Add funnels, tubing, and tall bottles to the water today.  The idea is to use water and equipment that will require an extra hand from a friend to hold or stabilize.  

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; increases abilities to sustain interactions with peers by helping, sharing, and discussion.

Library and Writing

 Talk to the children about something they like to do with a friend.  Encourage them to draw a picture of themselves and a friend/s doing it. Write their dictation underneath.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and play.

Math and Manipulatives

Make a graph of the children’s favorite ice cream flavor.  On a piece of paper write chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry across the bottom.  Let the children mark their favorite flavor. Which flavor had the most votes? Count how many the strawberry vote had.  Write the numbers on the columns so the children can see the results of the ice cream survey. 

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Dramatic Play

 Bring out the cash register and help the children set up a simple store.  You can use tape to put prices on your food and dress up clothes.  Bring in some bags so the cashier can put the stuff in for the customers.  Bring in old receipts.

Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops a growing awareness of jobs and what is required to perform them.  AND Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended or complex.

Outdoor play

Bring chalk outside and make a hopscotch board to play on. Make sure to allow the children to use the chalk to make their own sidewalk games also.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.  AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.


 Have each child show you a facial expression  as you call out the emotion they are to express.  Tell a child to make a face that shows you they are _______.  Use a variety of emotions.  Some emotions  may include; happy, angry, excited, surprised, mad, confused, sleepy, annoyed, nervous, scared, tired, sad, bored, disappointed.     If the child say they do not know what it looks like, give them an example of what may cause that emotion.   (Disappointed is like when you thought we were having spaghetti for lunch but instead we have something you don’t really like).  Have the children watch each others faces so that they can see what the emotion looks like on another person.

Social & Emotional Development/Social Relationships; progresses in responding sympathetically to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, angry; and in expressing empathy or caring for other.

About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.