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Being My Very Best

How can your class become a community of learners? These self-portrait paper dolls encourage everyone to become better friends.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Read a book to the class about getting along with others, such as "When I Feel Good About Myself" by Cornelia Maude Spelman. As a class, make a list of ways that people act when they care about each other.
    2. On construction paper, have students draw a miniature version of themselves with Crayola Twistables® Crayons and Washable Markers. Add details such as hair, eyes, and clothing. Use Crayola Scissors to cut out the paper doll. List on the back, two or three ways to be an even better friend with classmates, team members, and family.
    3. Divide students into small groups. Each group writes a skit about a situation they may face at school. How would they react if a friend won a poster contest? How would they deal with a bully? Make sure students use correct grammar and whole sentences in the skit—and give create several different endings! Students will use their paper dolls to act out possible solutions. Choose one of the best resolutions to share with the class.
  • Standards

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

    SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    VA: Use art materials in a safe and responsible manner.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    As an extension of reading When I Feel Good About Myself by Cornelia Maude Spelman, set up centers in the classroom. Place students in small groups and have the group pair-share the reading, discussing the text as they proceed. At the close of the read, students will write 3-4 key words that reflect what they have read. Students share their reflections in a whole-class meeting. Possible classroom resources include: Pink and Say by Patricia Pollacco; Stellaluna by Janell Cannon; Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting; The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas; and/or Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco.

    In small groups, students create a set of large speech bubbles with sayings they can use when faced with situations where they should remember to be a better friend or take on a leadership role in the classroom. A bulletin board can be dedicated to a daily conversation about friendship and leadership with an appropriate speech bubble posted each day.

    Children with fine motor difficulties may appreciate help to cut out their figure.

    Assessment: Students make realistic replicas of themselves, list two or three pertinent behaviors to improve, and work cooperatively with classmates to role play solutions to challenging situations.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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