Author: Eric Carle
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Materials: Brown Bear book, class book template, crayons/markers/colored pencils, skinny markers (if available)
Summary: A lesson to help children learn each other’s names and faces at the beginning of the year. A class book that is sure to be a class favorite!
- After reading the book to the class inform them that they will be taking part in making the first class book! (I hope there will be many more to follow!!) Discuss the importance of doing their best work in order for the book to be perfect reading for the rest of the school year. I always let my students choose one or two class books at the end of the year to take home and keep. This could be your goal as well!
- Pass out a page to each of the students. Using a skinny marker or pencil, instruct them to write their name twice at the top where the lines are so it will read, “_(Nora)_, _(Nora)_, who do you see?” DO NOT write their names on the bottom of the page. I always write the children’s names on card stock with a dark marker for the children to use if they have difficulty writing their name. Paper clip it to the back of their page and they can trace it. After writing their names they will draw their self-portraits. I always do “My turn, your turn” with the kids.
- Using a white board or chart paper, model for the students how to draw a self-portrait. You may want to practice this skill with your students before attempting a class book. For me it is of great insight to see how the children draw themselves at the beginning of the year so I don’t practice ahead of time. Explain that they’ll want to draw a nice big oval/circle shape for their head, not a tiny one that no one will see.Draw a self-portrait, step-by-step. I typically just do the face and hair.
- “My turn, your turn”– In order to get the portraits to have the likeness of the children I play a game with them while we draw. Being that this is usually done in the beginning of the year there are many children who have never drawn themselves before. Some may never have held a crayon. You have to adapt to where your kids are. Begin with telling the kids that you will go first and during that time, their crayons are down and their eyes are watching. Draw a circle/oval shape on the page. Once you have done that, the kids follow with their own shape. Next, draw your eyes, after you have finished it’s the kids turn. Continue this until the portrait is complete!
- After each child has finished drawing a self portrait, collect all the pages. You will fill in the name of the child whose page is next at the bottom of each page. If my name is at the top of the first page and Nora’s is the second page you will write Nora’s name at the bottom of my page so it reads “(Brielle, Brielle) who do you see? I see (Nora) looking at me.” It is very important that there is a teacher page with your portrait as well. Save it for the last page. At the top, put your name and at the bottom put your class i.e. “I see (Room 1) looking at me.” On the last page I always quickly draw each one of my students and write their name underneath their little face. They LOVE going to the back page to see how I’ve drawn them. You could also use a photograph, which I have done several times as well. Because this is the first of the year and the children are just learning, I take photos of each child and put it on their self portrait page as well.
- Create a cover for the book (Room 1, Room 1 Who do you See?), assemble it (don’t forget to add YOUR page!!), and share it with the class! Then add it to your class book bin. I always have a special basket filled with special class books. The kids ALWAYS chose from those books first. Be sure to refer to this book often! They love it, it engages them and it helps them to remember each others names!