Using Story Grammar Marker & related tools, focus on your students' feelings about the "Kick-Off" of going Back To School. This blog lesson includes 9 book suggestions, 3 activities and 4 free downloads!
It’s amazing how quickly summer flies by! I have mentioned many times that throughout my 38 years of teaching, I always appreciated the fact that each school year brought about new opportunities to improve my teaching techniques. Not all occupations offer one a chance to reflect on what worked and what could be refined, both in materials and delivery, with the overall goal of building upon children’s strengths. From our group at MindWing, we wish you a successful school year and hope you enjoy the following blog to help with ideas to “KICK-OFF” your school year!
Kick-Off: first day of school
Feelings: the focus of our lesson.
Give each child a heart (from page 13.14 of MindWing’s Making Connections manual [Autism Collection Book 2, available separately]). FREE Download at right. Ask them to cut out and then write the two feeling words, one on each side of the heart. They may be asked to add why they felt that way as modeled in ”During: Step 6” above. Collect the hearts and adhere to a long piece of yarn or ribbon and hang from the question, as shown.
This next activity is also found in our Making Connections manual, page 13.19. We are pleased to present this to you as a Free Download HERE.
Use the heart picture frame from our Braidy the StoryBraid manual, page 137. Invite students to choose one way they were feeling at the beginning (or end) of the day and draw an illustration and write a corresponding sentence(s) to go with the picture. These could be put in a class book, collected and discussed with individual students, or taken home.
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
It’s always good to begin a school year reading a story that has familiar characters… the Llama series and Clifford were frequently two that I chose with pre-school/kindergarten students. This particular selection brings us through some of the emotions that Llama goes through during his first day of school. Students will identify with some aspects of his day. Pointing out how the teacher and other students help Llama adjust to his day would give students some ideas for helping others!
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
The ending of this book so surprised me as instead of being about a student with “jitters” it ended up being the teacher! I think students would enjoy this perspective and as a teacher, you would have a wonderful opportunity to share your feelings about the first day of school.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
(From the first page): “It was her first day, and she was both nervous and excited.” This would be an ideal book for older elementary students and would lend itself nicely to the above activity. The discussion could also be expanded in future days to talk about cultural diversity, the acceptance of others, and how to make others feel comfortable in a new situation.
Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready For School? by Barney Saltzberg
This would be a good selection to use Braidy to retell what Cornelius did to get ready for school (Action Sequence/List). It would make a great selection for preschool children who then could be asked what they did to get ready for school.
Minerva Louise at School by Janet Morgan Stoeke
This book could be paired with a tour of the building (the setting show icon)! Younger students will get a chuckle out of seeing the school from Minerva Louise’s perspective! The ending will surely have your students smiling!
Follow The Line To School by Laura Ljungkvist
If you are looking for a book to go over the various locations (settings) in school with older elementary students, this book is engaging and interactive. It would be a good choice for a small group of students or a one on one situation as there is so much to see! Students could take turns following the line through the settings.
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Many children worry about the first day of school and this book certainly addresses the feeling of worrying. It also speaks of the value of others to help us through. This is a good selection to keep in mind if you know of a student who is apprehensive about school.
Mommy in My Pocket by Carol Hun Senderak
I was reminded of The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn when I read this book. Presented in rhyme, it is about a girl that wishes her mother could go in her pocket to school with her. She brings us through a day at school with her Mommy “tucked just right” into her pocket. It ends knowing that a hug and kiss will do! This would be a good selection for pre-school/kindergarten children who are anxious about going to school.
Kindergarten Kids, Riddles, Rebuses, Wiggles, Giggles and More! by Stephanie Calmenson
The presented poems and rhymes correspond to all aspects of a day in school. Although kindergarten appears in the title, early elementary students would enjoy hearing the selections! I especially liked “See You Later, Alligator! There are lots of ways to say good-bye.” This would be a fun way to end a day!
Check out these previous related blogs on our MindWing website and feel free to modify them to meet the needs of your students!
In addition, below are two blogs to help you organize during the upcoming school year:
Enjoy this Feelings Bookmark download (Making Connections manual, p13.13).