These teaching ideas were shared by members at the A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums.
- Read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and talk about the children’s names (how did they get them, how many letters are in each, graph number of letters)
- Make tactile names (write children’s names in glue and have children put macaroni or popcarn on it)
- Make name puzzles
- Read The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown
- Compare two children and make a Venn diagram of how they are the same and different
- Write acrostic poetry using their names
- Have them dip tips of fingers into ink and press on paper; look at fingerprints with magnifying glasses
I have done an activity called “Me Bags”. Give each child a brown paper lunch bag. Have them decorate it anyway they want. They take the bag home and put three “favorites” in it. (You could adjust that number as you see fit) Have them write clues about what is in the bag. Classmates try to guess what it is. This is a fun way for the children to get to know each other, especially as similar “favorites” come to light. The kids always look forward to their day to share their “Me Bags”. – Margo
Hello! I did ALL About Me bags this year as well. They worked wonderfully! On the 1st day of school, I brought in an ALL About Me bag about myself. Inside the bag I put a pen, some paper, a headband. Basically things that I like to do. The kids loved it! They asked questions & were really involved! By the way, i teach 2nd grade. Good luck!
We made personality plates using paper plates and cut out pictures and phrases from magazines. – Upsadaisy
What I did for the beginning of this school year was a bulletin board. The topic was “We’re all a part of the puzzle.” I created puzzle pieces out of poster board and gave each child a piece to decorate. Then the pieces were joined together to complete the puzzle. Also on the board I listed success tips on puzzle pieces, like come to class prepared, be nice to everyone, visit the library,etc. On their piece they were to draw a collage of things they like or things about them. I did it with middle schoolers but works well for all ages!
You could trace the kids outlines on butcher paper and have them cut themselves out and color them. I did that two years in a row and the children seemed to really like doing it. If you provide mixed media art supplies ( tissue paper, wallpaper, markers, pipecleaners, crayons, etc ) they might go nuts over such a cool project. Help the kids make individual scrapbooks by having parents provide pictures or take pictures of them yourself. After completing their scrapbook have the child read it to the class or you one on one. – CorbyND
All About Me Graphing
Students learn about collecting and displaying data by making graphs about classmates’ characteristics.
Materials: A large piece of butcher block paper, tape, marker
Introduce the lesson by discussing that everyone has similarities and differences in their appearances. Direct the discussion toward hair color.
Explain to the kids that a graph is used to show information in a different way. Go around the room and have the children tell what each persons hair color is when you point to them. Make the graph.
Have them count each graph section. Talk about what the most popular color was and what was the least. This can also be done with eye color or if their hair is short/long or curly/straight!
This could also be used for other characteristics, such as eye color. Here are some helpful printables designed to use with a pocket chart:
All About Me Cube
Bring the family and the school together in a homework lesson.
- White heavy construction paper or poster board paper
- Cube outline
- Pictures from home
- Parental involvement with the activity
Copy the cube outline onto heavy construction paper for each child in the classroom.
Find pictures of all the people listed in the cube in your photo albums or in extra pictures around the house. Have your child help pick which pictures to use. Also have the child cut out the pictures if possible. Then glue the pictures in the box on the cube. After all the pictures are glued on and dried, tape the cube together and look at the finished product!!
Have your child bring the cube back to school and share the pictures with the rest of the class so they can get to know your family too.
Give your students a full week to get this project done. That way the parents are not feeling rushed to get this project done and they can have fun with their child picking out the pictures. I suggest sending it home on Monday and giving them till Friday to bring it back in. Then spend the next week giving each child a chance to show their own cube to the class.
My kindergarten child did this and we had a lot of fun finding pictures and putting the cube together. She was very proud of it and showed it to everyone that came into the house after that!!
All About You
Learn more about the children in your class and so they can learn about each other.
- Paper (heavy paper that is durable)
- hole punch
- string to tie together.
- the book “All About You” by Catherine and Laurence Anholt published by Scholastic books.
- Optional: Use ready-made sheets from the Printable All About Me Book
Read the book to the children and discuss each page briefly with the children. Let them answer the questions on each page of the book.
Have these sentences already printed or typed on each page for each child. (Printable All About Me Book is available.)
- Title: All About Me name_________
- My favorite color is?_______
- When I look at my door, I see __________outside.
- I live in a ________ house.(apartment, trailer, farm house etc.)
- ____ people live in my house with me(number). They are my___________________(brother, mom, dad, grandma etc.)
- My favorite place to go play is_______________.
- I really love it when my mom_____________.
- I really love it when my dad_____________.
- I am very special and loved by many people!
Always encourage the children to write the words themselves. Write the word they might use to answer the questions on the board and add to it as children ask how to spell more words to answer the questions in the book.
If you know that kids in your class have no contact with their mom or dad, do not include these pages in the book. If they visit a mom or dad, but do not live with them, I would still include these pages. On the last page encourage the children to look in a mirror and draw or paint a picture of themselves on the page. If possible, after the book is all done(about a week to complete) have the class share their books with the class and their families. This book will be something parents will keep for a long time to come. This is an excellent way to get kids to understand that letters make words and they use words to communicate information to other people.
By: Debbie Haren, Preschool Teacher