An “About Me” Thematic Lesson Plan For the 3rd Grade
Though parents provide children with an initial sense of self, the teachers and peers of school-age children contribute to the growth of their still developing self-concept. An “About Me” thematic lesson can provide third graders with a deeper sense of self as they discover more information about their background. Students’ self-esteem grows as they discover and share common histories and experiences during the project.
Read the children’s book “What I Like About Me,” by Allia Zobel Nolan, aloud to kids. Discuss the characteristics that make the children in the book different from each other. Ask the class how kids sometimes feel about someone who is different. Create a class chart of all the ways that the students in your class are different from each other. List commonalities on another chart.
Introduce third graders to research projects by assigning a family tree project. Third graders have developed enough independent reading and writing skills to be able to successfully achieve simple research projects. Ask students to assist you in creating a class list of questions to ask parents about family history. Show students examples of family tree designs. Instruct students to create a family tree to share with the class.
Teach students about the acrostic poem format. Direct each student to begin a brainstorm list of words that describes himself. The student then meets with three other students in class and asks the students to offer more words that describe him. Instruct students to keep the brainstorm describing word list for future use. Students use the words on the list to assist them in creating an “About Me” acrostic.
Show students the self-portraits of an artist such as Frida Kahlo who used many familiar, meaningful objects in the background of her self-portraits. Assign students the task of drawing a self-portrait. Instruct them to include objects in the background that have personal meaning.
Ask students to take a few minutes to consider quietly the things they learned about themselves during the “About Me” lesson plan activities. Instruct students to write a half-page composition describing the surprising things they learned about themselves and each other during the activities.
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