About This Lesson Plan



Hands-On Lessons

About Me Magazine

Start your year by turning your classroom into a publishing house, and your students into magazine writers.

Students will:

•    Examine and analyze who they are at this point in their lives.
•    Write and use visuals to communicate ideas about themselves as people
Common Core Standard
(W.4.2, W.5.2, W.6.2) Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Elmer's Washable School Glue or Elmer's Disappearing Purple Glue Sticks, paper, markers, writing supplies
Printable: Text Features Brainstorming Page
Printable: Magazine Article Template

Content Introduction
Magazines are a great way to introduce everything from an author's purpose to text features. Magazine articles also provide a variety of ways to engage students in reading text at their level.

Magazine resources: Scholastic News (http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/scholasticnews/index.html), Scholastic Kids' News (http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/press_corps/index.asp), and other Scholastic Magazines (http://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/).

Magazine, article, title, subtitle, heading, subheading, graph or chart, illustration, caption, bold type, italics, sidebar, textbox, footnote

Introduction (2 minutes)
Explain to students that as you start the year, you want to learn about them and you want them to learn about each other. One great way to learn information is through magazine articles. Identify a magazine as a collection of different types of articles. Tell students that they will be writing an article that will inform the class about them and who they are.

Editorial Meeting (8–10 minutes)

Use the Text Features Brainstorming printable to review the text features of a magazine article, as well as have students brainstorm ideas for how they will incorporate content and text features.

About Me Magazine (20 minutes)
Students use the Magazine Article Template printable to create a short profile that incorporates various text features to create a profile about who they are. Some ideas to incorporate:
•    Take a photo or head shot of each student. These photos can be used as illustrations, as well as sent home with students to be part of the Elmer's 1st Day website.
•    Provide students with old magazines to cut up for images or fonts.
•    If time permits, provide students with an opportunity to peer conference while they work.

Once students have completed their profiles, collect them in an About Me Magazine to read from throughout the first month of school and share in your classroom library.

Whiteboard Extension Activities

•    Post various text features on the Whiteboard. Students match each text feature with its purpose, where it is found in a sample article, or how it is typically included in a magazine article.
•    Once students have explored all the profiles in the About Me Magazine, pull tidbits about each student and create a trivia game for students to complete as a culminating activity. 
•    Provide images of various magazine articles and have students identify the author's purpose for each. Make sure that students are considering that some articles may have a dual purpose (for example, to entertain and to inform).
•    Provide images of magazine covers and identify the different genres of magazines. Which genre of magazine most interests students? How can the covers of magazines influence the reader's interest?
Literature Extension
•    Using profiles and other articles from a variety of magazines, students compare and contrast their article with other articles. What information was included? What information was left out? How was the information organized and presented to readers?
Extension Activities
•    Students can choose to write an article in an additional format:
o    Third-person profile (a true story written about someone else)
o    A summer travel article
o    A how-to, or expert article about a topic
o    A book or movie review
•    Create a classroom masthead, or list of who works on a magazine, to show classroom jobs or writing-workshop tasks.
Technology Extension
Visit http://the1stday.com/ and download the Elmer's 1st Day app to capture and share the first day of school and beyond. You can create slideshows, personalize photos, share "first day" albums, and more.

Every family has a story or information to share. Here are three projects that will engage the entire family in writing:

•    Family Magazine: Students work with their family to create a family magazine. It can be about their family history, or an experience that their family enjoys sharing together (a sport, a travel destination). Have students share their family magazines with the class, and keep them in the classroom library for the first month of school.
•    First-Day-of-School Article: Students interview a parent or family member about their first-day-of-school memories and use this research to write a first-day-of-school article, complete with images and text features.
•    Online Magazine: Throughout the first day of school, have parent volunteers take photos of students. Then, using photos from school and home, students work with their parents to create a first-day-of-school slideshow with captions to post on the Elmer's 1st Day website.
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