Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Favorite 1st day of school activity

First Day of School linky party!  I'm joining Jodi at Fun in First in sharing my favorite first day of school activity!! Since this is my first year in FIRST GRADE!, I'm hoping that these Pre-K lessons will transfer.

Lily's Purple Plastic Purse
So my FAVORITE first day of school activity (so far!) has been to do Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes.  Since I do Morning Meeting in my classroom, it really helps to introduce how to share properly, how to be polite when someone else is speaking, and most importantly how to respect everyone's objects and ideas!  We start off by reading the book, and I point out the elements of Morning Meeting that are in the story. Afterwards, I have each child decorate a paper bag with a variety of purple art supplies.  That night, the children take their bags home and return to school with an object that is special to them.  Throughout the first few days of school, we share these special objects at morning meeting. Not only do I get to know each child better, but the children learn to share, respect, speak publicly, and take turns!

I'm hoping that my first week will allow me to do a Kevin Henke's author study, because another activity that I do the first week of school is Chrysanthemum.  There are lots of great activities out there for this book, but one lesson that my students responded very well to was this lesson:
After reading the book, each child decorated a beautiful flower petal with bright colors, and an ugly, dead flower petal with brown paint.  We then made a chrysanthemum of compliments- on the pretty petals, we brainstormed and recorded nice things to say to friends.  On the brown petals, we wrote down things that we can do or say to friends that make them sad.  It was a good visual for the kids, and this lesson really stuck with them throughout the year!!

I'm really excited about my FIRST YEAR OF 1st GRADE!!!!   Any comments/suggestions are VERY welcome! 


  1. Thanks for sharing! I love the idea of having students make a purple purse of their own instead of just doing the me-bag I usually have them do. Good luck in first grade this year--you will love it!

  2. Really cute ideas. I used Kevin Henkes books last year during the first few weeks of school in first grade. The kids LOVED them!

  3. These are 2 of my favorite first week stories as well! Great ideas--especially using Chrysanthemum in a compliment lesson. You will love first grade!

  4. Kevin Henkes books are awesome for the beginning of the year! Thanks for linking up!
    Fun In First

  5. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!


  6. I just found your blog through the linky party, and am now a follower. I love the flower idea!

  7. I have both those books and always do Chrysanthemum, but I think I will include Lily's Purple Plastic Purse as well.