Make a Book About Me
Invite children to celebrate their individuality as they become authors and illustrators of their very own book.
- Grades: PreK–K
- Practice creative thinking
- Develop an awareness of self and others
- Enhance language and literacy skills
- Improve fine motor skills
- A book about children's individuality such as All About You by Catherine and Laurence Anholt
- Chart paper and markers
- Art materials including crayons, markers, and white drawing paper and colored construction paper
- Manila folder
- Book binding materials including stapler or hole punch and yarn
Step 1: Read the recommended book, or a similar story, to the class. Remember to begin familiarizing them with words such as title, author, and illustrator. Follow the reading with a discussion about the book and encourage the group to relate their own experiences to those depicted in the story. Explain that during small group time they are each going to make their own books about themselves, and that they will be the authors and illustrators.
Step 2: Create a list of topics to stimulate ideas, including my favorite toy or activity, my favorite food, my favorite animal or pet, what I like to do at school, and who are the members of my family. Present a different topic each day during morning meeting and engage the children in discussion. Record their comments on chart paper.
Step 3: During small group time, review children's individual responses. Then provide them with art materials to create a drawing about the topic. Draw a line across the bottom quarter of their paper to reserve space for their dictation.
Step 4: Invite the class to share their drawings during recall time. Facilitate discussions to help them talk about their work and to notice their similarities and differences. Provide each child with a folder, which they can also decorate if they like, to keep their drawings in until they are ready to make their books.
Step 5: Once all of their pages are complete, children can make a cover for their books. Be sure they include a title and their name on each cover, and assist them in binding their pages to finish the book. Schedule time for each child to share his or her creation with the class.
Step 6: Place the books in the library area so the children can read them individually, with a friend, or with a family member or teacher during morning drop-off or pick-up time.
Remember: Not all children will have the same level of interest in the activity. Some may be able to fill up a page with images and colors while others just want to make one shape and then go off to something else.
Write children's first names on individual index cards. Glue a small picture of each child or a photocopy of a picture, on the cards so that children can easily identify their names. Be sure their names start with an upper case letter and use lower case letters from there on. Make a set of individual letters that match the letters in each child's name, and place both these and the cards into resealable plastic bags. During small-group time, invite the children to learn the individual letters and match them with the ones on their name card. Keep the plastic bags in the literacy center so they can practice learning and organizing the letters in their names, as well as the names of their classmates. As their name recognition skills increase, remove the photographs.
Send home a note requesting that families work with their child to write down the names of all of their family members that reside in their home. They can even include the names of their pets. Invite everyone to share his or her list with the class. Find an area to display these lists and have the children compare the information presented. Do they have family members that have the same names? Who has the largest family? Who has the smallest? How many children are named after a family member? Create graphs and language experience charts to summarize what the children have learned.