On week three in first grade we begin to make connections with literature. The is key to getting children to love, relate, and engage in books. The first connections we make are text to self connections. The perfect unit to teach this concept is family. Above you can see some of the anchor texts I use throughout this unit. This is right around Grandparent’s Day so we like to integrate that into our unit as well. We begin by reading Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon. This book teaches students to be proud of who they are and stand up for themselves. I follow the same steps each day with each story. After reading, we share our connections and I post them on sticky notes. After we have shared, they go and write their own idea on paper pencil and add an illustration. For writing on this day I like to also read, I Like Myself. It is a really quick read and helps us get our ideas flowing for our writing. We make a self portrait and a tall writing piece on this day and make a list of characteristics about ourselves. They are really cute up on their lockers.
I also like to begin our family portraits on this day by having the students create themselves. We put them in a baggy and add to them each day.
On Day 2 we read “What Mommies and Daddies do Best” by Laura Numeroff. Then we share connections about our parents or guardians. I also love to read Weird Parents by Wood. This is a funny story about parents who love to embarrass their children. (one of my favorite things to do) After reading and connecting, we make our parents and/or guardians. We also do this sort below with Parent/Children or Both.
As a fun culminating project, we make these family rainbows. They are very easy to make, and it really brings home the idea that not all families look the same. It is a glyph activity and each color represents someone different in their family. They are super pretty in the hallway too.
On the last day we discuss grandparents. We read What Grandmas & Grandpas Do Best by Numeroff. I also like to read How to Babysit Grandma or Grandpa by Reagan for the text to self connection too. I change it up from year to year. We work on all of our grandparent’s day activities and make our grandparents. They always turn out so cute. Then we invite grandparents in for lunch. We ask the parents to send in cookie donations. During our lunch, I introduce myself and I do a quick slide show of things the children wrote about their grandparents. Then I give out awards. There is an cupcake (anniversary award) for being married the longest, a gas card (traveled the farthest) and a picture frame (most grandchildren). This was all in place when I came to this school, I can’t take credit for these ideas. The children love having them visit their classroom, and I love making a connection to there families.
Another fun activity we did last year was the family trees. We ran out of time this year but they turn out super cute too.