Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I am Unique! Back to School Unit

Hi everyone! This is a long post but hopefully worth it! Especially the last activity...
I know most of you have your ideas already for back to school but I wanted to share some of the ideas in my "I am Unique" Back to School unit. There are great activities that involve using Art in the classroom in order to promote uniqueness and individuality among your students. The directons for the activities below are included as well as some others!

 The first lesson is based on an all time favorite read aloud that celebrates uniqueness: Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. I added a twist to the standard name sorting by letter and syllables by including an activity that adds more active engagement. The students sort and graph their names but with their bodies! It's called a Human Bar Graph! Much more engaging and concrete for our young students. I included the category labels for the Human Bar Graph that you would hang on a wall or a board so your students know where to stand in columns for the human graph. Just laminate, cut and use!

 After the Human Bar Graph, students make a class name necklace with everyone's names on triangles. They cut out the triangles, punch a hole and string the names. The master is included in the unit.  I wish I had a pic of the finished product. I'll snap one this year!

Another lesson in this pack is inspired by the book It's Okay to be Different. The students brainstorm ways in which they are unique and create a class anchor chart to record their thinking. Each student then chooses a way they are different or unique and creates a page of a class book.

The best part of the class book is the Fingerprint Mystery activity to be completed at home. It's a great way for students to see just how unique they are!

I also share a great idea on creating a Bulletin Board inspired by the book The Colors of Us. I love this book; it really celebrates all types of skin colors. The students have a blast mixing paint to find their skin color and making their face on the paper plate.

I also included everything you would need to make these cute All About Me people. They are great for an open house! Each shirt is a "page" of the book.

  Now to the best part of the whole pack! This is my favorite all time back to school activity! Share Kandinsky's Squares with Concentric Circles with your students and then make an artwork glyph! Put all the glyphs together to make a class masterpiece you can keep up all year!

 Not only will this be beautiful, it will really emphasize the goal of this unit: celebrating uniqueness and differences among students. Each student will get a square and the rings of color will represent information about the student. I included everything you would need to complete this activity... pages to print or project to make this manageable for kinder or first grade and a key so when others look at your class artwork they will understand what each color represents.
Here's an example of one of the pages you would use during the painting of the glyphs to keep students on track.

By the end, everyone will have a completely different square with stunning, colorful rings to be put together into the class masterpiece!
If you liked some of these ideas and would like more ideas and the resources to these lessons, click here to head to my TPT store to see all that's included!


  1. I really like how you linked the books with the activities and the idea of the human bar graph is sooo great!!! I have awarded you with One Lovely Blog Award. To pick it up go to http://playfullearningbrooklyn.blogspot.com :)


  2. This looks SO great! It is on my wishlist. I especially love the Kandinsky project-what a fantastic idea!

  3. I love integrating the arts into the classroom curriculum!

    I nominated you for the One Loveley Blog Award.
    ✎ Teacher in Training ✎

  4. I just wanted you to know that I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award! I am a new follower and look forward to learning from you!

    1. Hi Robin,
      Thank you so much for nominating me. What is your blog name so I can be sure to link back to you? Thanks!