Last year, with 64 students, it was really hard to do many of the activities I really wanted to do. Because of departmentalization, our time was so limited and extremely structured. The fact that I had so many students also made it costly if there were supplies involved. One activity I did not do last year, but always did in the past was have the students create birthday books for the birthday child, whenever there was one. This year, although 29 students in my homeroom is a lot, I'm thrilled to have every single one of them and plan to reinstate the birthday books once again. (I've had students catch me in public 25 years later and tell me they still have their birthday books from when they were my students!)
So, while I'm sitting here creating some interesting activities for my 4th graders, I just updated my birthday book and thought I'd share it with you.
If you teach elementary school, you might be interested in using it. Here's how it works:
- Download this PDF that I created. Each page has two duplicate pages on it so you can just cut them in half and save paper.
- The first page is the cover. Make enough copies for each student in your class and use rubber cement or a glue stick to attach it to a piece of construction paper that is only slightly larger than the paper (9x12 cut in half). Save for when each student's birthday comes around.
- The next page is the inside of the book. Make enough for each student to have one (each student only needs half). Students will complete the page with a description and illustration of a "present" for the birthday child.
- The last page of the PDF is for the birthday child. He/she completes it with a description and illustration of a present he/she would like.
- When they are all turned in, put the birthday child's page as page 1 then put with the rest of the pages and staple with a back cover of matching construction paper.
This can be a great activity for the students to do when they finish their work, or can be saved for the end of the week. Encourage students to write about presents that don't cost money. The students LOVE receiving these.
I hope you find it useful.