Eight Ways to Learn All About Me
Activities designed to encourage young ones to learn who they are and how to express themselves.
By Bethany Stagliano
Children love to talk about themselves. As the school year begins, use this trait to your advantage. Considering the fact that some of your students are encountering their very first classroom experience, and others are learning to adapt to change, this is the perfect time to get kids talking about themselves. It will put them at ease, and everyone in the class can get to know each other. Here are some ideas to turn youngsters' love for talking about themselves into a whole-class educational opportunity.
1. My Favorite Day
Create a special show-and-tell day where students are instructed to bring in a photo of one of their favorite days. It could be any day—from a vacation, to the day they got a new pet, or even the day they got a new brother or sister. Have them share the picture with their classmates, telling a story about why it was their favorite day. An alternative idea is to have children share something they did on their birthday.
2. My Secret Birthday Wish
All kids love to make a wish after blowing out the candles on their birthday cake. Take some time to discuss the idea that many people believe that a birthday wish is to be kept a secret, or else it will not come true. Allow some time for your kids to verbalize what they believe on the topic. Set aside a special day as a birthday party celebration for the whole class. Have learners write down (or draw a picture) of their birthday wish, fold it into a little square, and place it in a bag. You may even wish to allow the kids to plant their wishes in a garden, mail it to the birthday wish fairy, or hide the wish somewhere in the classroom or at home. An extended activity can include discussing different foods they might enjoy having at their birthday party.
3. My Favorite Food
Introduce bar graphing to your class by conducting a survey on favorite food. Model the concept for the class by showing and graphing, on a large chart, how many kids in the class like pizza, chicken, fries, etc. Reiterate the fact that taller bars mean more people like that kind of food. Next, ask the class to name their favorite desserts. Have them use this information to practice graphing on their own. Continue reinforcing math by engaging learners using their favorite things, such as animals, toys, and/or candy.
4. Bee Like Me!
Tell your class that you are like a bee... you love to fly, you enjoy smelling flowers, and you like the color yellow! Ask your pupils to think of an animal they are like, and have them tell you why. They can share as a class, with partners, and/or draw a picture of their animal. Ask each child n what they would name their animal “self”, and why they chose that name.
5. I Am Who I am
With a list of the names of all the children in your class, research what each name means. Attach this meaning with a note to parents asking them to discuss why they gave their son or daughter the name they gave them. Send home a worksheet for students to complete with a family member, and they can share the information the next day with the class. Have more fun with this activity by extending it to a lesson about adjectives and descriptive words.
6. Adjective High-Five
Teach about adjectives, or describing words. Ask your class, “What are some words to describe who you are?” Responses will likely, include words like tall, strong, happy, funny, pretty, etc. Focus on positive attributes (plan to conference with anyone who describes himself in a negative way). Have each child think of five adjectives that describe who they are. Trace each pupil's hand, and write (or have the child write) an adjective on each finger. Allow kids to decorate their hand with things they enjoy, and what they want to be when they grow up.
7. When I Get Bigger
Read the fun story When I Get Bigger by Mercer Mayer. Obtain some butcher block paper and trace the outline of each child. Have them decorate “themselves” with things they want to do when they get bigger. Get some magazine clippings and stickers for added fun. Display your “bigger” class when all is done (this is a fun activity to have completed before Back-to-School Night)! Extend learning by showing that no dream is too small... give your kids the hope and tools so they know they can achieve goals that they set for themselves.
8. I Think I Can, I Think I Can
Read The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper. Discuss how the Little Engine thought he could do something, and then he did it! Have the class share things they can do (such as tie their shoes, dress themselves, get their own snack, etc.), and have individuals draw a picture of a favorite task they know how to complete. Use this lesson to help raise self-esteem and show each one of your learners that they can do anything just as long as they think they can!
A list and description of great books that can be used in an All About Me unit.
In this interactive lesson, pupils learn that everyone is different, and that it is okay to be difference. Math activities are used to extend this lesson.
Children learn self-awareness by creating their very own all-about-me book.