Your kindergartners may only be five or six years old, but they have achieved a lot of milestones in those few years. While your students might not remember their first words, first steps or the time they got a new puppy, those close to them probably have a story or two they can share. Help your kindergartners put together a fun and creative autobiography keepsake book to celebrate their lives.
Send home an autobiography questionnaire for kindergartners to fill out with their family. This questionnaire may serve as the first page of your students’ autobiography book or a worksheet to guide kindergartners in writing a few sentences about their lives with the help of older students in the school. Include information such as students’ full names, how students got their name, when and where students were born, parents' and siblings' names, their first words, and favorite first foods. Ask parents to fill in a few story starters such as “When I was little, I always ” or “A funny story was when I _.”
Invite kindergartners to bring pictures from home to include in their autobiographies. Pictures may include baby pictures, photos with family members, favorite pets, birthday parties or family vacations. Have kindergartners glue pictures on pieces of paper. With the help of parent volunteers or older students in the school, write captions for each picture in kindergartners’ own words.
Read “I Like Me” by Nancy Carlson or “I Like Myself” by Karen Beaumont. Discuss the things that make everyone unique and special, including the things that we like to do. Have kindergartners draw self-portraits using crayons, markers or paints. Provide mirrors so students can look at themselves when including details of eye color, eyebrow shapes or freckles. Encourage students to add details in the background of things they like to do. Have students sign and date portraits.
Snapshots and Handprints
Take individual pictures of students. Allow kindergartners to use the pictures to create a front cover for their autobiography books. Encourage students to write their names on the front cover and design a background behind their pictures such as a picture of their house, bedroom or pets. Have students use finger paints to stamp their handprints on the back cover of their books.
Shannon Cathie has been writing for children, teens and adults since 2004. Her work has appeared in "Highlights for Children," "Ask!" magazine, "The Christian Science Monitor" newspaper, "Writing for Dollars" and "Northwest Baby and Child." She is also the author of several children's books about the human body. Cathie holds elementary licensure and a Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of Colorado.