I wanted to share this great activity I have been doing for years at the very beginning of each year. It is a Self-Portrait activity where students get to draw themselves, compare themselves with another student, and present to the class. I love to tell students they are drawing “Selfies” because it makes it more relevant, and they love it!!
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First, let me say that this activity serves multiple purposes on the first day of school! I print each student’s name on the top of a Selfie Printable. Then I use these Self-Portrait sheets as desk name tags. As students walk into the room, I ask them to find the seat with their name. I find that I often have to move seats around the first week (or students don’t show up, or are moved to another classroom), so this gives me a way of placing students without permanently writing their name on anything.
I always have a large pile of crayons at each table, and instruct students to draw a picture of themselves (a Self-Portrait). This takes students lots of time, which in turn gives me time to complete all of the “first day of school” tasks provided by my administration 🙂
Next, comes the partner work! I pair up students with someone sitting close by and have them get to know each other. They draw a large Venn Diagram on a piece of colored construction paper and fill it in as they talk.
Now remember, I teach 5th graders, so they are pretty used to creating and filling in Venn Diagrams by this point. If you teach little ones, you may need to give them an already made Venn Diagram, and a list of questions to ask.
Once the Venn Diagrams are completed, each group of students presents theirs to the class. This acts as a way for the entire class to get to know a little bit about each person.
Another purpose this activity serves is that it is a GREAT hallway display for the first weeks of school! It can take quite a bit of time to get student work in the hallway. With this activity, it is done and ready to go the first day of school.
I would love to hear about your favorite beginning of year activity!
Get even more ideas by checking out my back to school Pinterest board!!