Student Task

Buddy Share

Do Something
Grade Level


Students choose a mode of expression—e.g., writing, art or storytelling—to share theme-related ideas and feelings with a “buddy” from outside the classroom.

Estimated time

Two to three weeks


Students experience art and literacy as modes of expression and vehicles for positive social change. Having an authentic audience for their work is important for young learners as they begin to understand how expressing ideas with language and the arts can inspire awareness and action. A buddy share also creates awareness of agency; students can see how their thinking, voices and perspectives affect others.


Get Ready

  1. Determine what modes of expression your students know. Discuss and share examples of:
    • Creative writing (story or poem)
    • Artwork (painting, collage, etc.)
    • Oral storytelling
  2. Recruit and assign each student a buddy. Make sure potential buddies are available to attend class for sharing. Buddies may include:students from a different class or grade, family members or others in the school community.
  3. Adapt the sample rubric into a visual checklist. Refer to the rubric to define expectations and components of their buddy share before students begin working.

Get Set

  1. Verbally introduce students to the preparatory steps included in the Do Something Planning Guide. Instruct them in the process of mapping the steps necessary to prepare for their buddy share.
  2. As a class, brainstorm social justice or diversity topics from the central text. Discuss how and why teaching another person about these topics is important.
  3. Plan work time for students to create a story, poem or visual art to teach their buddy about the chosen topic.
  4. Instruct students to create rough drafts of the work.  Ask them to exchange and review their work with a classmate, then independently edit based on the input they receive.
  5. Instruct students to complete final revisions and prepare a final version. Invite them to practice sharing with a classmate prior to sharing with their buddy.


  1. Invite buddies into classroom for class-wide “share.”
  2. Support students as they share work with buddies to increase awareness and spark dialogue about themes from the central text.


Invite buddies to give feedback and engage in dialogue with students around the work shared:

  • What did they learn about the topic or theme?
  • Are they inspired to take action?.

English language learners

Differentiate the project to support English language learners in expressing their ideas, particularly if they choose writing. Planning sheets and graphic organizers—like story mountains, story maps or story boxes—can help students break work into smaller, sequenced parts. This project engages linguistic, interpersonal, spatial/artistic and kinesthetic learning modalities (although this can vary depending on the modes of expression selected by students).

Connection to anti-bias education

Participating in a buddy share allows students to practice communicating about social justice and anti-bias topics and themes. They can creatively demonstrate their learning to an authentic audience beyond their teacher and classmates.

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Learning for Justice in the South

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