Skills Building: Pete & Pickles (PK-5)

Written and Illustrated by Berkeley Breathed

Pre Reading Questions

  1. Think of a time you did something nice for a friend. How did they feel? How did you feel?
  2. Have you ever become friends with someone who is the opposite of you?
  3. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” means that you should not judge a person before you get to know them, or based on what you see on the outside. Have you ever judged a person before you got to know them?

Post Reading Questions

  1. How do you think Pete felt before Pickles came? How do you think Pete felt when Pickles lived in his house and changed his “perfectly predictable” life?
  2. What happened to make Pete decide that he wanted to be friends with Pickles?
  3. Have you ever become friends with someone who you didn’t get along with at first?
  4. How did Pete change from the beginning of the book to the end of the book? Have you ever had a friend who introduced you to new things?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Elephant Friendship Cards (Pre-K-5)

Overview: Being a predictable pig and a not-so-predictable elephant, Pete and Pickles are an unlikely pair. Despite their differences, they become the best of friends and are always there to help one another. Make an elephant friendship card for someone in your family, a teacher, or a friend outside of the Afterschool Program.


● Balloons
● Color cardstock or construction paper
● Liquid Elmer’s glue
● Markers
● Scissors
● Googly eyes (optional)
● Pencils/color pencils
● List of elephant puns and jokes
● Black Sharpie

Duration: 40 minutes (for staff: 5-minute pre-activity set up and 5-minute prep)

● 2 minutes – Introduce the activity, relate the activity to the book
● 10 minutes – Create the card and write a message on the inside
● 5 minutes – Glue the balloon and googly eyes (if using) on to the card
● 5 minutes – Cut out elephant heart ears and glue them next to the balloon
● 5 minutes – Decorate the rest of the front of the card as desired
● 5 minutes – Clean up activity
● 5 minutes – Reflect

Elephant Puns & Jokes

  • You’re elephant-astic!
  • Miss you a ton!
  • Love you a ton!
  • You’re unforgettable!

Q. There were two elephants under one umbrella, why didn’t they get wet?
A. It wasn’t raining.

Q. Why do elephants have wrinkles?
A. Ever tried to iron an elephant?

Q. Why do elephants have trunks?
A. Because they would look funny with a suitcase.

Q. What do you call an elephant in a phone booth?
A. Stuck!

More Elephant Jokes

Q. Why couldn’t the two elephants go swimming together?

A. Because they only had one pair of trunks!

Q. What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?
A. Time to get a new fence.

Q. What did the elephant say to her son when he was naughty?
A. “Tusk tusk!”

Q: What wears glass slippers and weighs over 4,000 pounds?
A: Cinderellephant

Q: What do you do with a blue elephant?
A: You try and cheer her up


  1. Staff should prep all materials ahead of time. This includes printing out the joke examples to be provided on each student’s work table.
  2. Fold the paper in half the short way (hamburger style) to create a card, and have students write the note on the inside of the card first. If they are using a joke, write a joke or pun with the question on the first page and the answer on the inside. (Note: It is easier to write and decorate the inside of the card before gluing on the balloon.)
  3. Students will now glue the balloon to the center of the outside of the card. The balloon should be right side up with the hole facing toward the bottom.
  4. Students can choose to glue googly eyes on their balloon, draw eyes with a sharpie, or cut out eyes with white paper.
  5. Students should draw and cut 2 – 3” hearts to make elephant ears. (Tip: many students should know how to create hearts but if not, show them how to fold the paper in half, draw half a heart, and then cut on the fold to make a full heart).
  6. The students can now decorate the rest of the card as desired.

Reflection Questions

  • Who did you make your card for? Why did you choose this person?
  • How has that person been a good friend to you? How have you been a good friend to them?
  • What qualities do you look for in a friend? What is your best quality as a friend?