I'm Special Books
Students will understand that each of us is special. They will develop an appreciation for the special things that each can do now, and will begin to develop early literacy skills.
- Make a book about themselves.
- Track text and practice "reading."
- Become familiar with the sight words I and can.
- I begin use the following books in this lesson to talk about the things they are going to be learning to do this year in kindergarten. Look for these books in your library or substitute them with your favorite books on the topic. Leo the Late Bloomer by Arthur Kraus, available the Teacher Store, I Am Special by Kimberly Jordano, and The One and Only Special Me by Rozanne Lanczak Williams
- Pre-made I'm Special (PDF) printable books for each student with space for children to add their own pictures and writing
- Family Letter (PDF) printable for each student
- Crayons and colored pencils
- Chart paper
SET UP AND PREPARE
- Pre-made I'm Special printable books with some text typed in, copied for each student
- Family Letter copied for each student
Step 1: Read Leo the Late Bloomer by Arthur Kraus. Ask the children if they sometimes feel like Leo and why. Explain to the children that just like Leo, there will be things that they will not know how to do yet, but that is why they are in school. Assure the children that by the end of kindergarten, they will bloom just as Leo did.
Step 2: Read I Am Special by Kimberly Jordano Williams, drawing children's attention to the concepts of print. Ask the children to recall the things each child said they can do that makes them special. Chart those ideas and brainstorm more. Post the chart paper.
Step 3: With the students, review the "special" list that you charted the day before. Tell the children that you have taken their ideas of how they are special and started a book for each of them entitled "I'm Special." Point out the cover and read through the first four pages of the book with them. The first four pages, for example, could read:
I can draw me.
I can build with blocks.
I can play with my friends.
I can sing songs.
Leave the last two pages blank.
Step 4: Divide children into small groups if you have other adults to assist. Distribute their I'm Special books. Tell the children that they will be drawing pictures for the first pages in their I'm Special book where you have written/typed the text. Then, they will draw and write about two other things that they can do that make them special on the blank pages. Guide the children through the first four pages one at a time with you leading the choral reading and the children tracking the text. Wait for each child to do a drawing before going on.
Step 5: Have the children complete the last two pages on their own. Encourage children to attempt writing, using the posted chart, if they are ready. For others, take down their dictation.
Step 6: Close the lesson with the whole group. Sit in a circle with the children. Ask the children to each share one thing she/he can do from their I'm Special books using the sentence form, "I can_______________." Guide the group to shout, "Amy, you are special!" after each child shares. During small group time, practice "reading" these books with the children. Later, they will be used for the culminating activity for the I'm Special Unit.
SUPPORTING ALL LEARNERS
For Spanish speaking students, Leo the Late Bloomer is available in Spanish as Leo, El Retono Tardio.
Allow emerging writers to write their own sentences, while taking dictation for others.
I like to read The One and Only Special Me by Rozanne Lanczak Williams to draw children's attention to the sight words I and have. Brainstorm with children the things they have that makes them special — their own names, families, faces, etc.
Teacher Observation: Observe children's oral responses during class discussions and how children follow directions making their book. Look for tracking of text when the children share their books. Observe oral skills as they shared their books with the whole group.
- Complete the I'm Special book
- Complete the Family Letter homework assignment.
Using the Family Letter printable, ask the children to interview a family member about what he or she can do that is special. Children can draw a picture and report back to the class.
EVALUATE THE LESSON
- Were children engaged during the reading of the story?
- Did the children articulate many ideas of being special?
- Was there enough time for all students to be successful?
- How might I do this lesson differently next time?