Building Community One First Grader at a Time

Community is built layer by layer in the Lower School. First-grade students launch a year-long study about community at the start of the year, focusing first on their classroom community. One fun way they get to know each other is through the “Me I Am” unit, inspired by the children’s book by Jack Prelutsky.

Each student creates a poster that includes photos and details about their life so far, giving others a deeper look into who they are as a person, the important people in their life, the things they enjoy, and more. Students then take center stage to present their posters to the class. Presenting provides the first foray into public speaking and allows classmates to practice giving compliments, asking questions, and sharing ways they are similar and different from the student presenter. In addition, students love learning who in their class has dogs, cats, brothers, or sisters and where classmates have traveled. Students also created “Mini-Me” paper bodies decorated with each child’s personality and flair that line the Lower School hallways for everyone to enjoy.

First Grade Homeroom Teacher Kara Pracht said, “This activity provides the opportunity to celebrate and respect similarities and differences of others and value what we can learn from each other.”

Family members are invited to presentation day to provide moral support, help answer questions if needed, and share the joy of seeing their child through different eyes.

“It is amazing to see each student present in front of their peers—practicing being in charge, finding their own strong voice, and navigating questions. The pride is palpable and contagious! It is really one of the best ways to build our classroom community,” said First Grade Homeroom Teacher Jenn Gillis.

Thank you, first graders, for sharing your unique selves with us and providing the opportunity to get to know you better!