Evaluating and analysing friendships is an important step for students to ensure they are surrounding themselves with people who support and care about them. By thinking about how good friends make them feel and what people should do in friendships, students can critically evaluate their relationships.

Year level



60 minutes


In class activity

Online learning

SEL Competencies

Social awareness

Relationship skills

Learning intention

Students examine healthy relationships by developing an understanding of what makes a good friend, and by learning skills to identify warning signs for negative relationships.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify how a good friend makes them feel

  • identify warning signs of negative friendships

  • describe what makes a good friend

  • examine friendships and determine whether they are healthy or not.

Materials needed

  • Access to the ReachOut.com article ‘What makes a good friend?

  • Students’ workbooks

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Analyse the impact of changes and transitions, and devise strategies to support themselves and others through these changes (AC9HP8P02)

  • Examine the roles of respect, empathy, power and coercion in developing respectful relationships (AC9HP8P04)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Self-awareness

    • Self-management

    • Social awareness

    • Social management

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Examines and evaluates strategies to manage current and future challenges (PD4-1)

  • Applies and refines interpersonal skills to assist themselves and others to interact respectfully and promote inclusion in a variety of groups or contexts (PD4-10)

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Evaluate strategies to manage personal, physical and social changes that occur as they grow older (VCHPEP124)

  • Investigate the benefits of relationships and examine their impact on their own and others’ health and wellbeing (VCHPEP127)

Show details

Activity 1

How do you feel?

10 minutes

  1. Provide students with a list of feelings. These could be in a handout or may be written on the board. Check out this List of Emotions.

  2. Ask students: ‘How does a good friend make you feel?’

  3. Students write responses in their workbook or highlight them on the handout.

  4. Discuss responses as a class. Ask students:

    • Why do friends make us feel this way?

    • When can friends make us feel this way?

    • What might it mean if friends don’t make us feel good?

Activity 2

Traffic lights: Friendships

20 minutes

  1. Provide all students with red, yellow and green pieces of paper/card or pencils/pens.

  2. Read the following statements about healthy and unhealthy behaviours in friendships.

  3. Ask students to respond silently with their answer by indicating with:

    • Red = not healthy/abuse of power

    • Yellow = borderline abuse of power/warning signs

    • Green = healthy signs

  4. Discuss each statement with students, especially if they are split in their answers. It is important to point out that there is no right or wrong response.

Note: This activity could also be completed with students moving around the room to areas designated as red, yellow or green.


  • Your friend tells you not to hang out with certain people or they won’t be your friend.

  • You are afraid of your friend’s bad temper.

  • You enjoy being with this person, but you enjoy spending time with other people as well.

  • Your friend is always criticising you or people you care about.

  • You feel happy when you are with this person.

  • You always pretend to agree with your friend, even when you really don’t, because you are afraid they won’t be your friend anymore if you disagree.

  • Your friend teases and makes fun of you and other kids at school.

  • Your friend respects your feelings and listens to your opinions.

  • Your friend forces you to do things you don’t want to do.

  • You are nervous that if you tell your friend something, they will tell other people at school.

  • Your friend sometimes makes fun of you.

  • Your friend is happy when good things happen to you.

  • You never get to plan what the two of you will do together.

  • Your friend talks to you about their feelings.

  • Your friend threatens to hurt you physically.

Activity 3

Think, pair and share: Friendship do's and don'ts

20 minutes

  1. Students form pairs with someone outside of their friendship group (if possible). As an alternative, students may work individually.

  2. Ask students to brainstorm and discuss some do’s and don’ts for friendships.

  3. Pairs are to produce a list of at least five rules for each side.

  4. Compile a class master list of friendship do’s and dont’s. These could be made visible to be referred to in the future.

Activity 4

Article: 'What makes a good friend?'

10 minutes

  1. Provide students with access to the ReachOut.com article ‘What makes a good friend?’.

  2. Read through the article together as a class.

  3. Reflecting on the lesson, should ReachOut have included any other tips?

  4. Students write additional tips in the format used in the article into their workbook.


Free teaching resources emailed to you

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest teaching resources on mental health and wellbeing.

To see how we use this information check out our Privacy policy.