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A Reflection Card About Then and Now

Students create a card that not only reflects their faces, but displays a poem about the difference between the ways they are today compared with how they used to be. A perfect gift for parents and grandparents!

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. In this lesson students write poetry and make a personal card that will compare and contrast themselves as a baby or small child to themselves today. Teachers may use the card template provided with this lesson or suggest that students design their own card shape and size. Affixing a piece of mirror board inside of the card helps reinforce and “reflect” the statements from the poetry format, “I Used to, But Now…”
    2. Demonstrate on the whiteboard how to create a pre-write graphic organizer. Draw two columns heading one, “Used To” and the other as “Now”. Provide a few examples of yourself by using figurative examples and metaphors as well as some literal examples. Suggest prompts to the class for using verbs such as think, wonder, dream, want, crawl, watch, play, etc. Allow 10 to 12 minutes as students make their own list of responses under the “Used to column” and the “Now” column. Students may use notebooks or journals for this part of the lesson. They are preparing to do a pre-write of their reflective poem. Discuss the poem below or a different example to students before they begin their own writing from their lists.
    3. Provide time in the lesson for students to peer edit their poems, read aloud, substitute common words for more powerful, descriptive words, etc.
    4. Once the poem is finalized, move on to making the card. Use cardstock or construction paper and fold horizontally to accommodate the size of the mirror board.
    5. Students have several options as they design the front of the card. Ask them to brainstorm and sketch ideas for card fronts before they start their designs. Using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, Colored Pencils, Colored Pencil Sticks, Multi-Cultural Crayons and/or Multi-Cultural Colored Pencils, allow students to make choices regarding the materials used as they color and design the front and add details.
    6. When the card fronts have been designed and completed, provide students with one half piece of the 5”x7” (13 cm x 18cm) mirror board. Pre-cut the mirror board in half, or 2 ½ “x 3 ½” (6 cm x 9cm). The mirror board will be glued on the inside of the card on the viewer’s right. Use Crayola Washable No-Run Glue ® to secure the reflective surface. Demonstrate to the class how to use the glue by making a thin line “frame” of glue around the edges on the back. In addition, squeeze out a thin line “X” with the glue bottle pulling it diagonally from top left to bottom right and top right to bottom left. Place the reflective piece carefully so that when the card is opened it is the first thing the viewer will see. By giving this example, students learn to be efficient and conservative with the use of glue.
    7. Students place their final version of the poem on the inside left, opposite the reflective surface. Explain that the poem will need to fit within the area on the left side of the card. Students write their final draft on paper sized to fit properly. An option for students who must write larger than the space available: seal a legal sized envelope shut then cut it to fit on the inside left vertically. This serves as a pocket that can hold the student poem if written on a larger, separate piece of paper. Glue one side of the envelope onto the inside left. The student poem can be written on any size paper, folded and inserted in the envelope pocket.
    8. Suggest that students consider working on the back side of their cards. Ask if they have noticed that cards purchased in stores have information about the artist or company from which they come. Students can write their names, date of the card creation, etc. on the back for identification.
  • Standards

    LA: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

    LA: Expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.

    LA: Compare and contrast the varieties of English (e.g., dialects, registers) used in stories, dramas, or poems.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    VA: Brainstorm multiple approaches to a creative art or design problem.

    VA: Collaboratively set goals and create artwork that is meaningful and has purpose to the makers.

    VA: Formulate an artistic investigation of personally relevant content for creating art.

    VA: Generate a collection of ideas reflecting current interests and concerns that could be investigated in art-making.

    VA: Experiment and develop skills in multiple art-making techniques and approaches through practice.

  • Adaptations

    Instead of using shiny, reflective paper inside the card, take a digital photograph of the student. If a color copier is not available or practical, print the photo portrait in black and white. Display the photo on the inside of the card beside the poem.

    Students do this activity as a journal entry instead of a card. Rather than using the mirror board or a digital photo of the student, provide a mirror so they can observe and draw a self-portrait using pencil. The portrait can be painted with Crayola Washable Watercolors ®or colored with Crayola Multi Cultural Crayons ®. Create this entry as a spread, (Journal opened using both right and left sides), portrait on one side and poem on the other. Encourage students to add borders, backgrounds and embellishments that represent the “personal reflection” of the student.

    This activity can be used as an interview of a parent, grandparent, or an adult that is special to the student. Assign students to interview a family member or family friend using the template for the “I Used to, But Now…”

    Students take a photograph of the person they interview and create a poster or card using the poem and photo.

    Fast Forward! Change the template to give students a chance to think of what they hope to be in the future. Create poetry that looks to the future, for example: “Now I Am, But One Day I Will…” Create as a card as directed in the lesson plan, or design a journal entry.

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