view a plan
A fun first-day journal activity
Language Arts, Art
Title – “Getting to Know You” first day journal activity
By – Linda Altner
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Art
Grade Level – 1-2
This is an activity that can be given the first day of school. I usually have my students do this assignment in a journal, dated. However, you may choose to do it on paper that has space for drawing and writing. It is an informal assessment of the writing skills your students are starting out with. I like to save everything my students write, from day one, as a record of their progression. This activity is also an ice-breaker to get everyone in the class to know each other better. This lesson incorporates writing, art, and verbal communication.
The students are instructed to draw a picture of at least 3 things they want to share with the class. It could be something they like to do, eat, or something special about their family. They are also asked to write a sentence or as many words as they can to describe their pictures. If they can’t write words, they are asked to try to sound out as many words as they can and write the sounds they hear. Afterward, in circle on the carpet, they share what they wrote. I usually model on chart paper 3 things I would like to share first along with some writing so my expectations are clear . I don’t leave my model on display because many first graders will just copy what I wrote.