I have students sit on the carpet with me for a discussion to set the stage for learning. I show them a box of crayons.
I say: Today we will be talking about a box of crayons and why they are all important. WE are like a box of crayons and we are also going to talk about that later! But first, we are going to make ourselves into a box of crayons!
I give each student a crayon pattern and they put their name at the top. ( I am also doing my own on the document camera so that expectations are clear. ) We then draw our self-portraits in the middle of the crayon.
I like to use a timer for activities like these so students do not take too much time. I gave my students 8 minutes to complete their self portrait and at the three minute mark, I started letting them know when they had two more minutes and one more minute. When the timer beeps, I say: No more coloring. Please put your crayons on top of your desk and come back to the carpet. (We will glue poems on the back of the crayons after the video)
We watch “The_Crayon Box That Talked” video. We discuss why all of the crayons are important and how they worked together.
I ask: Does anyone know what a narrator is? I allow for student responses. I clarify: A narrator is someone who tells a story and, usually, refers to pictures as they do so.
I ask: How does the narrator show the crayons that they are all important? (draws a picture) How does that help them realize that they need to work together? (each color represents something in the picture, they make the picture complete) What would happen if there was no green? (the grass wouldn’t look like grass) This discussion helps clarify and confirm for students the deeper meaning behind the story and it also gives me an idea of their level of comprehension.
We then read the Crayon Poem and glue it on the back of our crayons.
As students finish, I glue their crayons into a crayon box that I have predrawn on a piece of chart paper. ( I just put a dot of glue on the tip of the crayon so that we can flip them up to see the back side with the poem.) As I glue them, students return to the carpet and wait quietly for others to finish.
When all students are seated on the carpet and crayons are glued into our ‘crayon box,’ I ask the students: How are these crayons alike? (they are all crayons) How are they different? (look different, different colors, different names) Why did I put all of these ‘crayons’ in our ‘crayon box?’ (because we all are in the same class, we all go together to school)
I ask: How are we like the crayons? Think back to the eggs that we looked at. What does each of us bring to the classroom? How are we the same? How are we different? How are we better together?
I say: Just like you go together in this crayon box, we all ‘go together’ in our class too! That means we work together and we each bring something special to the classroom!
Friends riddle class book
Each student has two pages in this class book. Their ‘page’ is simply the front and back of a sheet of paper. You could use a full 8.5 x 11 or even a half sheet. The size does not matter. Students simply need space to write on one side and draw on the other.
The first page(front) is their riddle and the second page(back) is their self-portrait. We write sentences with words that the kids can both read and write, so students do all of the writing. I do not give them any prepared sentences for this writing.
I model each sentence before I have students write their own. I say: I am going to write a sentence about the color of my hair. I know how to write “I” because it is a letter and a word. What kind of letter is first in a sentence? (capital) Who can come and point to the word ‘have’ on our word wall? (student volunteer comes and points to ‘have’) Boys and girls, spell ‘have’ out loud for me. (as students spell ‘have,’ I write the letters on my paper) My hair is blonde, so I am going to write that here for the color. Now, help me sound out ‘hair.’ (I write each letter as we sound it out, pointing out the silent ‘I’ in ‘hair’).
We then read my sentence out loud as a group. Boys and girls, I am now going to get a clean piece of paper and write with you! .
I say: I know how to write “I” because it is a letter and a word. What kind of letter is first in a sentence? (capital) What is our next word? (have) Boys and girls, spell ‘have’ out loud for me. As students spell ‘have,’ I write the letters on my paper and they write it on theirs. My hair is blonde, so I am going to write that here for the color. You need to look up at our color words and copy the color that goes with your hair color. Most of you have either black or brown hair. If you aren’t sure what color your hair is, turn and ask a friend. If they do not know, raise your hand and I will come take a look! (I give students time to write the color word for their hair color) Now, help me sound out ‘hair.’ (I write each letter as we sound it out, pointing out the silent ‘I’ in ‘hair’).
I follow the same pattern for the rest of the sentences:
I have ___ hair.
I am a ___. (boy/girl)
My favorite color is ___
Who am I?
Page 2 (back)
I am __.
This writing portion allows me to prompt, guide and model how to segment words so that we can write them. This gives context to my prompt of ‘sound it out’ when they are writing independently.
After students finish their second page with their name and self- portrait, I read (or students read) a few of them aloud and we guess who it might be. After the guesses are in, I show the self -portrait on the document camera and we read who it is!