Turtle and Tortoise Are NOT Friends By: Mike Reiss

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It didn’t take long for the room to explode into conversation!! Only 2 pages to be exact!

“How can they decide not to be friends before they’ve even gotten to know each other?!”

Another responded…

“I think they must have been told Turtles and Tortoises can’t be friends!”

This was one of those memorable teacher moments! I couldn’t have scripted this any better! What a perfect way for the year to start with a conversation about building  friendships!

Turtle and Tortoise are hatchlings from the same pen. As they pop out of their shells, they greet each other with enthusiasm.

“What fun we’ll have together!” said Turtle.

“We shall be best friends!’ said Tortoise.

However, the excitement is short lived (less than a page), when Tortoise realizes he isn’t a Turtle and Turtle realizes he isn’t a Tortoise…

“I’m a Tortoise. A Turtle is a horrid beast.”

“I understand!” said Turtle.

“It just wouldn’t make sense to be friends.”

They spend many years, in opposite ends of the pen, experiencing memorable adventures with no one to share them with. Then one day, a big red ball bounces their way.  Seven years later, Turtle is the first to reach the ball and claim it as his own. But he doesn’t know what to do with it all by himself and gets into a terrible predicament.  Two years later, Tortoise finally makes his way to the ball. He too, has no idea what to do with it!

A hilarious story of how these two stubborn TURTLES let go of their preconceived notions and learn it’s never too late to become friends.

Teachers will love this great mentor text for reminding students that building relationships and making friendships require taking risks and opening yourself up to others. The passing of time and speech bubbles make this a great mentor text for analyzing author’s craft!

Kids SAID….

“Everything’s  better with Friends!”

“We all need to get to know someone in order to become friends!”

“Just because someone says you shouldn’t be friends with someone, doesn’t make it true.”

“Friends don’t have to be alike. They can be different too!”

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