Friendship Flags

Purchase Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds at Bookmarks.

From National Book Award finalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all the different directions kids’ walks home can take.

This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—

Talking about boogers. Stealing pocket change. Skateboarding. Wiping out. Braving up. Executing complicated handshakes. Planning an escape. Making jokes. Lotioning up. Finding comfort.

But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.

In the first story, we meet Jasmine and TJ,  best friends who leave “friendship flags” in each others lockers. Their friendship flags might be made out of wrappers with notes written in orange Cheeto dust, but the tiny act of kindness of leaving that note is a bond in their friendship.

Rather than create art with leftover chip dust, lets create friendship flags with paper and markers. If you are in school, you can drop the completed friendship flags in lockers. If you’re learning remotely, homeschooling, or out for summer break, you can mail these to your friends. The instructions include stringing the flags together, something you can do once you start receiving flags from your friends.


  • cardstock in white, black or assorted colors
  • flag template (optional) – (download PDF)
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • hole punch
  • variety of coloring utensils – markers, colored pencils, metallic pens, etc.
  • string or yarn
  • tape (optional)


click images for larger view

  • Download the flag template.
  • Print.
  • Choose a flag shape.
  • Cut out.
  • You can also design your own flag shape!
  • Place your flag template on the paper you will be drawing on.
  • Trace around the template with a pencil.
  • Mark a small dot where you will punch holes.
  • Repeat for as many flags as you would like to create.
  • Once you have all of your banners traced, cut them out.
  • Punch two holes at the top of each flag.
  • Think about the person you are creating a friendship flag for. What is something special about them you want to say? Or, do they need some encouragement? What can you write that is specific to them?
  • Use your favorite coloring utensils to design the flag. Add designs in the background, or draw a picture to go along with the words you choose.
  • If you’re at school, leave the finished flag in your friends locker, or at their desk.
  • If you’re at home, put the flag in an envelope and mail it to your friend.
  • Repeat for all the flags your making.
  • Once you start collecting your flags, you can begin lacing them onto string to make a banner. 
  • Cut a long length of string or yarn. 
  • Tie a loop for hanging at one end.
  • Lace the string from back to front.
    • Pro tip – add a small piece of tape to the end of the string to make lacing easier.
  • Once all of the flags are laced, you can hang your banner for something positive to look at every day!


  • You can do friendships flags with one friend, or a group of friends. If it’s with a group of friends, you can start by sharing this project and then gathering everyone’s mailing address (if at home), or a plan for when you’ll start leaving them for each other at school. Someone will need to get it started so everyone can participate.
  • You don’t have to be limited to markers and colored pencils. Get creative! Use paints or collage. Use recycled materials. Have fun! 



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