Building Classroom Community
Picture-Perfect Language Arts
- Begin to practice critical-observation and prewriting skills
- Learn to recognize and embrace diversity
- Building Classroom Community (PDF)
- Photo Permission Form (PDF)
- Digital camera
- Internet access
- Crayons or markers
SET UP AND PREPARE
Before you begin:
- Set up your classroom Collection at Shutterfly.
- Take photos of yourself and the classroom for parents to view online.
- Send home the reproducible Photo Permission Form (PDF) and invite parents to view your classroom photos online and upload their own family photos.
- The purpose of this lesson is to establish respect for diversity early in a child's education so that he or she learns to embrace differences and is better prepared to thrive in a diverse classroom.
- Have a discussion with students about how even though all people share some traits, we are also unique. Have students name some physical traits that we all have in common. Answers may include: We have two eyes. We have one nose. We have hair.
- Have students think about the ways in which these shared traits can vary from person to person, e.g., some people have blue eyes, some have brown eyes.
- Explain to students that the traits that make us different also make us special and unique. Have students think about the personal trait they are most proud of.
- Divide students into pairs and distribute Building Classroom Community (PDF) Student Reproducible 1. Have each student draw a portrait of his or her partner. Give students time to write down two traits that they share with their partner and two traits that are different.
- Take digital photos of students and their artwork and upload them to your Shutterfly classroom Collection.
- In the classroom, display the students' peer portraits to serve as a constant reminder that differences should be embraced and celebrated.
Use Shutterfly to send an e-mail to parents that describes the lesson activity and explains that a diverse classroom serves as a microcosm for a diverse world. Let parents know that this album has been added to your Shutterfly classroom Collection.