illustration of two kids looking at one another


Read an emotional poem about two kids forming a surprising friendship.

By Pamela Chanko
From the September 2020 Issue

That kid, he looks nice. But he won’t look at me.

That kid thinks I’m weird! Oh, I can’t bear to see!

Uh-oh, here he comes—

I’ll look down at the floor—

enlargeable illustration of two boys bumping heads together


Well that’s never happened before . . .

I don’t think you like me.

I do! I’m just shy! You don’t like me.

Yes I do! So am I!

So then . . . we’re both shy?

It sure seems that way.

Let’s try being shy . . .

. . . together today!

enlargeable illustration of two boys laughing together
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Activities (2)
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Activities (2) Download All Quizzes and Activities

More About the Article

Social-emotional Learning Focus

Friendship; Feelings

Step-by-Step Lesson Plan


  • Storyworks 2 is full of amazing text-to-text connections to help kids gain context for what they’re reading.
  • This poem adds to the discussion for the essential question of this issue: What makes a good friend? Reading and discussing “Shy” along with the other friendship-themed texts (the nonfiction “How to Save a Cheetah’s Life” and the fiction story “The Popsicle Stick Bridge”) should give kids great insight into what it means to be a good friend.
  • Through these various genres, students will discuss: How do friends behave with each other? Do friends have to be the same? Or can they be different? What does it mean to be a good friend?
  • “Shy” also stands on its own. Readers can experience the emotions of the speakers through the red and blue back-and-forth thoughts and the simple rhymes. This gives kids a rich experience reading and thinking about poems as a literary form.


Preview the Poem (10 minutes)

  • Before reading the poem, ask children to look at the page and share what they notice about the colors of the lines and the illustrations of the two boys.
  • Some points they might mention are: The lines are written in red and blue. There are pictures of two boys. One is wearing red and one is wearing blue.
  • Read aloud the reading tip in the upper right corner: Two boys are talking in this poem. One boy’s words are in blue. The other boy’s words are in red.
  • Explain that the poem shows the thoughts of each boy—one in red and one in blue.


  • You can teach this poem as a partner read or through whole-class instruction.
  • Partner Read: Pair kids up. One student should take on the red role, and the other can take on the blue role. They can read the poem aloud to each other several times. Ask them to imagine what the character is feeling and to try to read with expression. They will get more fluent each time they read aloud.
  • Whole class: You can use the Read-Aloud feature on our website to hear the poem read aloud and to model fluency.
  • You can also have different pairs of kids come up and read the red and blue lines aloud for the class. It’s fun to see how different pairs read the poem differently. It’s an exercise in fluency, comprehension, and drama.
  • As they read, kids should pay attention to how the poem makes them feel.


ELA Focus: Compare Two Texts (15 minutes)

ELA Focus: Rhyming Words (10 minutes)