First Day of Class 2014

Welcome Back! This Sunday is our first day back after the summer break.

As I look down my class roster, I see we have quite a few new students this year, so we are going to spend time getting to know each other during this first gathering. I decorated the door with sunflowers, so to continue the theme, I decided to combine a simple craft and a getting-to-know-you game.

We are going to make sunflowers to hang on our class banner. But first, we will write one personal detail on each flower petal. I'll explain in more detail below, but after everyone has finished writing on their petals, we will collect them all in a pile. Then one by one we will pull a petal from the pile, read it aloud, and try to guess who wrote it. When that person reveals their identity, they get to glue the petal onto their flower center. After all petals are accounted for, we will add stems, and hang them on the banner.

Suggestions for personal descriptions:

1. Start each statement with "I".
2. Try to make each statement reflect something unusual or funny. For example: I was once bitten by a monkey. (Yep, it's true.)
3. Each statement must be true.


Brown, yellow and green construction paper
Circle cutter
Puffy paint or sharpies (I used 3D fabric paint because that's what I had on hand. I'm hoping it is not too messy for the kids.)
Any other desired decorations

Beforehand Preparation:

1. Draw petals on the yellow construction paper. Just free hand it. It doesn't need to be perfect.

2. Cut out the petals. Six to eight per child. The size of the sunflower center will determine how many petals are needed. Test it to make sure you cut enough petals before hand. 

3. Cut out circles for the center of the sunflowers using the brown paper. One per child.

4. Optional stems: Cut strips of green paper for stems.


1. Give each child at least four flower petals. Ask them to write one true statement about themselves on each petal. For example: "I have 6 brothers", "I am named after a famous baseball player", "I am allergic to cats", or "I like to play soccer". Encourage the kids to write things that will help people remember themthe more unusual, the better.

2. When they have finished writing, place all petals in the center of the table and shuffle.

3. Take turns retrieving a petal and reading it aloud. Let everyone take a guess as to who they think the statement is about. After everyone has made a guess, ask the author to identify him/herself. That person can then glue the petal onto their flower center. They may also glue blank petals onto their flower to create a more full flower. I would suggest keeping the personal statements down to four per child because many discussions will arise during the game (a good thing!) and it can take a long time to get through them all. 

Just a side note: The purpose of the game is to get to know each other. This includes learning each other's names. Discourage the "guessers" from language such as, "I think it's her," followed by a pointing finger. Instead, encourage the children to say, "I think it is Abbie." It may help to use name tags.

4. When all petals have been claimed and the sunflowers completed, add a green stem if desired. 

5. Next, ask each child to write their name in the center of the circle using a pencil. Trace the name using the puffy paint or sharpies. If time allows, they may want to add more decorations. This is the one I made while testing this craft at home:

We have a banner in our classroom. Each year we make something representative of the class members to post on the banner. This year I thought the sunflowers would be a good selection.

We had so much fun guessing who each statement belonged to that we ran out of time and did not get to decorate the center of the flowers. The children wrote their names in the centers with magic markers instead.

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