One of my most cherished activities as a teacher at home or in the classroom was creating our annual memory books as a place to record special memories from our year together. Those books became a treasure trove, and I know that many families (including my own) still look back through those books year after year…even my very first class that will be graduating from high school next year! Eek! Time flies.
One helpful tool I like to use in memory books is our self portrait journals. These journals can be made as stand alone books or incorporated into your complete memory books. On special days and one day each month we take time to draw a self portrait that reflects a special memory from the month.
Why I Love Self Portrait Journals
- They are a great tool for helping kids see how their drawing and writing change over the year. There’s always at least one child who insists that he or she didn’t draw that first picture way back at the beginning of the year, and it’s a great reminder to all of us about how much we’ve grown in just one year.
- They can be used as an assessment for drawing, name writing, and fine motor skills if required by your program.
- With a little prior planning you can weave them into the curriculum seamlessly.
- They make a wonderful addition to those memory books I mentioned above.
- They are a quick and easy way to capture a memory from the month.
Ways to Use Your Journals
Here are a few ways to use your journal pages:
- Post the monthly journal pages on a bulletin board. Switch out each month.
- Add each month’s journal pages to sheet protectors for a class book to read throughout the month. Switch out each month.
- Extend the journal pages by having the children do a writing prompt to go along with their self portrait. (Add these to the class book and memory books too.)
- Bind only the monthly pages into a self portrait journal using one of the cover options provided in the set.
- Incorporate the monthly pages into your full memory book for each child.
What’s Inside Our Self Portrait Journal Set?
Includes Both Seasonal and Nonseasonal Versions
We realize different schools and families have different preferences and requirements, so we’ve included multiple journal formats. Choose the set that best meets your needs.
There are nonseasonal journal pages that include boarder and the name of the month with no additional graphics. This format is also great if you want to have the most space for kids to create their portraits.
We’ve also include versions with seasonal graphics. If you choose to do your journal pages toward the end of the month it can be fun for kids to draw something that they associate with a special class memory during the month like a holiday event or class activity. It will help the child make connections with their finished journal toward the end of the year as they look back on previous pages.
Includes Multiple Options for Writing Child’s Name
We’ve included pages that are blank so that student names can be written on the back or wherever the child prefers, and there are also pages with a blank line for children to write their own names. It can be fun for them to see how their handwriting has changes from the beginning of the school year to the end.
If you are assessing name writing, these pages can also be used as documentation for your informal assessment.
Includes Special Pages
Because we know it’s also fun to capture memories on special days, we include a few extra pages in our journals set. Inside you’ll find these special pages:
- First Day of School
- First Week of School (in case you don’t have time to do your journal pages on the busy first day)
- Last Day of School
- Last Week of School (in case you want to finish up your memory books to send home earlier than the last day)
- My Birthday
Includes Creative Self Portrait Ideas
Simple kid drawings are precious, but if you want to add a bit more to your self portraits we’ve included some creative ideas so that each month’s portrait is unique.
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers if you prefer to shop there.