- Introducing themselves to classmates
- Sharing something unique about themselves and learning something special about their classmates
- Understanding that they will work together as a community throughout the school year
- Describing people, places, things and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly
- First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
- Ball of yarn
- Puzzle piece template
- Construction paper (white)
- Crayons or markers
- Stickers (optional)
Read aloud First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg to your students.
After reading, ask students to raise their hands if the book’s ending surprised them. (The main character in the story was the teacher, not a student!)
Invite them to share why they, their classmates, or their teacher may feel nervous about the first day in a new classroom. Encourage them to share ideas of ways to overcome this feeling.
- Invite students to sit on the floor with you and form a circle.
- Holding the ball of yarn, tell students that they can chase away the first day jitters by getting to know each other a little better. Talk about making new friends.
- Invite students to share their names and one interesting fact about themselves (e.g., something they like or enjoy, a special skill or talent, where they went on vacation).
- Begin the activity by introducing yourself and sharing something. (For example, say, “My name is Mrs. Thompson, and I like to play tennis.”)
Then hold onto the loose end of the yarn string with one hand. With the other hand, gently roll or toss the yarn to a student across the circle.
- The student with the ball of yarn continues the exercise, stating his name and sharing a fact about himself. He rolls the ball to another student while holding onto the loose yarn string.
(Students may need reminders to hold onto the yarn string before rolling the ball.)
- The game continues until each student has shared her name and an interesting fact.
- At the end of the game, point to the tangled yarn that connects everyone in the circle and ask students, “What have we made?” Explain that the class has made a web.
Say, “This web shows us what our classroom is like. Each of us is unique with our own special interests and abilities. We are also connected, because we are all in the same class this year!”
- Print the puzzle piece template onto white construction paper for each student in the class.
- Give each student a puzzle piece and provide markers or crayons. Have students write their first names on their pieces. (You can also do this ahead of time.)
- Encourage students to decorate their puzzle pieces with words and pictures about themselves. You can also provide stickers in a variety of themes (e.g., sports, animals, cartoons, hobbies) for students to use.
- After students are finished, cut out the pieces and fit them together as you staple the completed puzzle onto a bulletin board titled “We All Fit Together!” or “Our Class Is a Perfect Fit!”
the 1st–2nd Grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)