All About Me {The Perfect Back to School Theme}

Raise your hand if you love using the All About Me theme at the beginning of the school year.  My hand is raised. Actually, both hands are raised. All About Me is the perfect theme for back to school!

7 Reasons the All About Me Theme is Awesome
The All About Me theme is nothing new. It's a traditional theme typically reserved for the beginning of the school year, but it is also relevant all year long. Just because this theme is traditional doesn't mean that it lacks value. It has so much to offer:
  • It helps students learn about each other (when information is shared with the class or a partner).
  • It encourages self-awareness and self-reflection.
  • It celebrates individuality.
  • Students can learn about their similarities and differences.
  • It promotes self-esteem and self-identity.
  • It reinforces a sense of self.
  • It builds confidence because students are able to report on something they are an expert in (themselves!).
What this Theme Looks Like in My Classroom
Every year, I have my students make an All About Me book. They work on this keepsake project during the first or second week of school and since we work on it bit by bit each day, it takes approximately 2-3 weeks to complete.

As mentioned, it's a keepsake project, but I also use it as a means to learn about my students and for the students to learn about each other. More on that in just a moment.

The project starts off with several simple prompts or organizers that require little to no writing. These kinds of pages are great for helping students focus on small bits of information at once. It's too overwhelming to task primary kiddos with jumping in and sharing everything at once. Here are a few examples.

These kinds of pages also give students ample opportunities to work on their quality of work habits (coloring in the lines, using colors that make sense, and so forth) without worrying about lengthy writing assignments.  I like to display the poster shown below via my classroom projector as students work so they can be reminded of my expectations.

You can grab this free poster HERE. Print it out and display it in your room, or simply project the PDF onto your board so students can see it while they work (my favorite).  :)

As the project progresses along, the students begin to include more writing about themselves. They make lists, use writing prompts, and eventually write an informative piece about themselves. These pages were designed to not only provide students opportunities to tell about themselves in more detail, but to scaffold them as they ease back into the writing process at the beginning of the school year.  Once again, here are a few examples.

Using the Keepsake to Build Community
As we work on this project, one day at a time, I build in share time.  This is how the students are able to learn about each other, and come to recognize their similarities and differences.

This built in share time can look different from day to day. You gotta keep them on their toes, right?

Here are a few ways the students share the information on the pages they've completed:
  • one on one with a classmate
  • one on one with a classmate and then each student shares something about the other with the class
  • with the entire class (while sitting in my read aloud chair and/or using the class microphone)
  • with the entire class (while projecting their completed page via the document camera)
  • in groups of 3-4 students
These built in share times are great for working on oral communication skills as well as cooperative learning skills.

All About Me Keepsake Book
You can find the complete All About Me keepsake project featured in this post in my TPT store. Click the image to be taken to the listing on TPT.


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