Kids love talking about themselves—their likes, their dislikes, and details about everything in between. Spark their interest in writing with a mini-book about their favorite subject…themselves! By incorporating a popular theme in first grade, the five senses, you’ll help them to expand their story with descriptive words and phrases—a great way to sneak in some vocabulary practice as well!
What You Do:
- Most great artists have attempted at least one self-portrait. Let your child take up the torch! On construction paper or any paper he’d like, have him illustrate a picture of himself. Let him know it should be as detailed as he can make it.
- Discuss the completed picture, asking questions related to the five senses. For example, “What color are your eyes?” or “How many ears do you have?” or “What part of your body do you smell with?”
- Now have your child tell you about himself. Remind him to include details from the picture and use his five senses in the description. For each of the five senses, ask him to write down a few phrases. He can use the following sentences as a guide and fill in the blanks (if he’s a more beginner writer), or create his own sentences from scratch. Each sense should get its own page so that you’ll have 6 total pages in the end.
SAMPLE SENTENCES FOR FILL-IN-THE-BLANK BOOKS:
I love to look at _____.
____ smells delicious to me. ____ does not.
If I could listen to anything in the world, it would be _____.
Touching _____ makes me feel _____.
The best tastes on the planet are _____, ______, and ______.
Writing done? Bind the book and get reading! And if you’re feeling industrious, laminate the masterpiece at your local copy store: you might be surprised ten years down the road to remember his favorite smells were mowed grass and dirty socks!
Alicia Danyali, BS Elementary Education, taught primary-level students for four years at the International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The last four years of her teaching career, she taught at the Washington International School in Washington, D.C. She recently completed writing a series of children's picture books and is a mother of one young son.