Maya Makes a Friend
“Maya Makes a Friend” is an illustrated book where a young girl has an afternoon at the park learning lessons of friendship, inclusion, and accepting others who are different than herself. This book teaches kids of all abilities about others and provides a platform for conversation with caregivers about being kind and respectful to everyone. “Maya Makes a Friend” stems from a collection of books that written specifically about disabilities that can be personalized for each individual. Someone Special Books are creating awareness and advocacy for the acceptance of others one book at a time.
- Literacy skills like letter, word and spelling recognition and identification can be practiced when reading, “Maya Makes a Friend.”
- Vocabulary can be expanded with the comprehension of words like respect, kindness, acceptance, etc. through Maya’s story.
- The “Talking Points” listed in the back of the book can help kids reflect on the story further with a caregiver and connect what they learned in the book with real life examples from school, the playground or at the grocery store.
- Research different types of disabilities at the library or online with a caregiver to comprehend the unique skills and challenges of each diagnosis.
- Find out what months support different disabilities. Volunteer at an organization in your community that is doing something for Down Syndrome Awareness Month for example.
- Write down a list of ways to treat others with kindness and respect. Pair those ideas up with a person or group of people and act on those ideas.
- When “Maya Makes a Friend” is read aloud, the book gives children the opportunity to develop receptive language skills as they listen to the story unfold.
- The “Talking Points” in the back of the book allow children to think about and process the different concepts of the book and engage in discussion with a caregiver.
- Kids can incorporate the value of kindness and respect relayed in the book into everyday life and actively practice acceptance and awareness of others through conversation, body language and facial expressions.
- Kids can write or draw an extension of the book on Maya’s friendship with the boy she met at the park.
- Kids can write in a journal or draw in a book about the people in their life and what makes them unique.
- Help create awareness for kids of all abilities by bringing this book to show and tell at school or another event.
- Create a list of questions about disabilities. Caregivers can respond to them in an age appropriate manner.
- Maya’s experiences with the boy at the park who is in a wheelchair can teach children the important life skill of acceptance and respect.
- The social interaction promoted through the message in the book is an important skill as children can learn to express their curiosity in a polite way.
- The book can be used to discuss feelings and emotions children might have trouble comprehending.
- Practice facial expressions and body language reactions at home for when in public.
- Act out feelings and emotions when someone treats you differently.
- Be like Maya at the park! When kids see someone that needs a friend to play with, join in with them.