Who Am I?
- Grades: 6–8, 9–12
- Unit Plan:
In this lesson, students will use a graphic organizer to brainstorm information about their lives. Then, their life stories will be used to provide the inspiration for a graphic timeline.
- Utilize brainstorming techniques in a writing exercise
- Develop a graphic organizer describing their lives
- Set personal goals for the school year
- Who Am I? (PDF)
- Pencil and paper
- Overhead projector
- Blackboard or dry erase board
- Timer or clock
Set Up and Prepare
- Copy a class set of the handout, Who Am I?
- Make a transparency of the handout to be used on the overhead and complete it to describe yourself to the class.
- Set up the overhead.
Model use of the Who Am I? handout by filling out each section of the organizer on the overhead. This is a creative way to introduce yourself to the class, while preparing them for the activity. Put students' names on the handouts and place one on each desk. Direct students to find their seat and wait for directions.
Invite the students to describe what they think brainstorming means. Explain that they are going to brainstorm important information about themselves to share with the class.
Demonstrate how to fill out the first Reflection topic of the organizer. Turn on the overhead, set the timer for 1 minute (or ask a student to watch the clock). Brainstorm a list of where you’ve been in your lifetime. This can include states where you’ve lived, places you’ve traveled, schools where you’ve taught, etc. When the time is up, talk about your responses with the class. Ask if anyone has had similar experiences. Invite them to suggest other information that could have been listed.
Ask students to brainstorm the first section of the handout on their own. Set the timer and start.
Encourage students to share responses. Make a list on the board to compare what the class has in common. Make a list of unique responses that only one student describes. This is a creative method to get to know the class, and receive enthusiastic participation.
Demonstrate the next topic of the handout. Examples of "What Defines You": sister, mother, brother, uncle, American, Asian, dancer, athlete, soccer player, saxophone player, couch potato, movie buff, reader, optimistic, caring, mellow, out-going, quiet, tall, redhead, freckled, and so on.
Ask students to brainstorm this section and proceed as above.
Complete the graphic organizer by following the above steps. The beginning of the school year is a great time to set expectations for the class, talking in depth about individual goals can be an opportune moment to set class goals.
Ask students to take the handout home and begin to gather photos, clippings, computer artwork, and magazine pictures that show many of the responses on their graphic organizer.
Explain that tomorrow they will be creating a graphic timeline of their lives.
Supporting All Learners
1. Students work at their own ability on this exercise, but if someone struggles to complete the project in the allotted time the handout can be taken home to complete.
2. ESL students can complete the project in their first language if necessary.
This is a good time to introduce yourself to the parents. Send a note home explaining the project, and ask parents to help their students collect the items for the timeline.
- Students recall, recognize and record important events in their lives on a graphic organizer.
- They will compare and contrast completed graphic organizers with the class.
- They will choose graphic displays to represent events on their organizers.
- Did students complete the graphic organizer?
- Do they continue to talk about the things they have in common, and what makes them unique?
- Did they arrive the following day with pictures and information for the graphic timeline?
Through participation and completion of the graphic organizer, assess that students understand correct responses to each reflection topic.