This activity shares ideas on how to spotlight each student in your classroom.
Main Curriculum Tie:
1st Grade - Content
Standard 2 Objective 1
Describe behaviors that influence relationships with family and friends.
- The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn; ISBN 0-590-6335-7
- I Already Know I love You, by Billy Crystal; ISBN 0-06-081519-1
- Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch; ISBN 0-920668-37-2
- The Way I Feel, by Janan Cain; ISBN 0-439-32116-6
- When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry..., by Molly Bang; ISBN 0-439-21319-3
Background For Teachers:
Begin by planning to teach this unit within the first week of
school to help the students feel a connection with you (the teacher)
and each other. These activities give the students an opportunity to
share things about their life and their interests. This is a highlight for
every child in the classroom. It is very important to make every child
feel special and find success in school. Steps in this unit have been
spread out and will cover several days due to the interest span of first
Each student will have an opportunity to be the “Top Banana/King/
Queen” (use any title you want) for the day (week). However, before
any student has a chance to be in the spotlight, share some details from
your own life with the students. This gives the students an opportunity
to get to know you and feel a connection with you in the classroom.
Additionally, in using graphs in this unit, the students will feel
a connection with other students who have the same attributes.
Graphing can be used extensively through questions such as students’
likes, dislikes, interests, etc. When all the charts are written about
each child, the students can contrast/compare themselves with other
class members and analyze the data from graphs. This will help
increase math skills.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
3. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors.
Invitation to Learn
Within the first few days of school, you (the teacher) will share
pictures and artifacts (e.g. quilt, crocheting, art, beloved books, etc.)
that tell something about your life. Give your students the opportunity
to ask questions. You write down the answers on chart paper. This is a
good time to explain the difference between questions and statements.
Limit the questions to no more than six because students’ short interest
span affects the success of this activity.
- On the student’s assigned day (week) as “Top Banana”, allow
the student to share pictures, artifacts, and a short written
history about his/her life. Students will then get to ask the “Top
Banana” some questions about his/her family, likes and dislikes,
etc. The teacher will write the answers on chart paper. This is
a good time to do interactive writing even at the beginning of
the year because some students can write some simple words.
Afterwards, the students will read the chart together. Then the
“Top Banana” will read it before she either takes the chart home
or you display it in the classroom.
- This portion of the activity should be done a day or more
after the first “Top Banana” is introduced. Students will get a
sticker and put it on a graphing chart over the correct number
representing how many people are in her family. Next, discuss
the graph and talk about how families are different and alike.
The students should get their journals out to write and draw a
picture about their own family.
- Use 2 attribute-grouping circles and place them like a Venn
diagram. Put “sisters” above one side, “brothers” above the
other side, and “both” above the middle. Also have a third
circle by itself and put “none” above it. Each student will put
her attribute cards in the correct circle. Next, discuss who has
more, less, or an equal number of siblings.
- Students get their journals out and write about other students
who have the same or a different number of siblings and how
their families are alike or different. Just a caution: monitoring
students’ work will help prevent problems.
- After the students do the second step of the activity draw a
curve line, touching the top sticker in each row of the graph
to show that families can be different sizes. Have a math
discussion about the graph using the vocabulary more, less, and
- Attribute circles can also be used to recognize students who are
the oldest, youngest, middle, or only child in their family.
- Teacher can take the “Top Banana” chart and copy down the
written paragraph to put into a class book. There will eventually
be a page in the book for each student in the class.
- Create a center where students can match the correct sentences
with the picture of the student.
- Have students write in their math journals about the results
of the graphs. This is a great opportunity for students to do
addition/subtraction/greater than/less than sentences.
- Read a book like the ones suggested in the Additional Resources
section. Then the students will participate in interactive writing
about feelings (happy, sad, angry, scared, loved, etc.) They may
also write in their journals about feelings.
- Parents may come to share a brief (give the parents a time limit)
life history of their child when she is “Top Banana”.
- Use the 1st Grade Writing Assessment Form to analyze the
- Use My Classroom Graph of Family Members to graph students’
siblings. Students will color the graph in relation to where the
cards are placed in the attribute circles or Venn diagram.
DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & DuFour, R. (2005). On Common Ground. Solution Tree, Bloomington, Indiana
Continuous improvement in teaching, student achievement, and
the quality of relationships among all members of a professional
learning community (PLC) is based on a continuous cycle of teaching and learning. Educators who realize they have something to learn
from their students as well as something to teach them usually find
success. One of the keys to successful “learning for all” is based on
the willingness of the school staff to customize and differentiate its
services to meet the specific needs of each student.
Created Date :
Jun 26 2007 11:34 AM