Social Skills Lesson on Friends - Social Skills with "How to Eat Fried Worms"

How to Eat Fried Worms. New Line Cinema

The movie How to Eat Fried Worms retells the book by Thomas Rockwell very loosely, but is a great illustration of how to make friends, and why friends are important.  Using a movie to support instruction in a self contained program can provide a reinforcement for good class behavior, while at the same time providing a platform for discussing social skills. 

Objective: Children will tell you why Billy's enemies/opponents became Billy's friends, and the important things Billy and Joe learned about friendship.

Anticipatory Set: List the things your students believe are important about friends. (Play with you, share with you, trust you, etc.)

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Two one hour sessions

Here's How:

  1. Before Viewing

    • Anticipatory Set: Make a list of the qualities they believe are important in a friend.
    • Ask who has ever moved to a new house, new neighborhood, new school or new community. How was it? Was it hard? Why?
    • Introduce some information about the movie: Billy has moved to a new house and a new school. He doesn't have any friends. He may have trouble making friends. Tell me whether it is easy or hard for Billy.
  2. View the movie. Stop the movie every twenty minutes. Ask:

    • Why was Billy sad when he looked at the picture from his class? (He misses them. He may believe will never find new friends.)
    • Why is Billy upset with his little brother Woody?
    • Does Billy really eat fried worms? Why does he lie to Joe and his friends in the lunchroom?
    • What is the bet Billy makes? (He can eat 10 worms before 7 p.m.
    • Do all of Joe's "team" want Billy to lose? Why do they change their minds?
  3. Follow Up Discuss:

    1. Why do you think Joe was mean? (His big brother picked on him, so he picked on other people.
    2. How did Billy change his relationship with Joe from enemy to friend? (He stood up to his brother, he shared the punishment.
    3. Do you think Billy was glad he moved to the new town in the end? (Accept all answers: No, he still missed his friends or Yes, now he is really popular.
    4. Create a "Friendship" Word Wall.   Put up those qualities your students think are important in a friend.  Don't be afraid to "prime the pump" with words they are less likely to use, like "trustworthy" or "loyal."
  4. Evaluation: 
  • Have students draw their favorite character in the movie and either write or dictate why they are their favorite character.

What You Need:

  • DVD of How to Eat Fried Worms
  • chart paper for list
  • Drawing paper
  • Drawing tools: Crayons, colored pencils or markers