An important part of school, learning, and interacting as a child (up through and into the teen years) is to discover who you are as a person. A lot of students tend to lose sight of this once they are in middle school and high school; a lot thanks to peer pressure. I did it, you probably did to. There was a band that you said you hated even though you actually like them. The was a pair of shorts you really liked but would never wear around your friends because they weren’t “in style”.
Can projects and activities stop peer pressure? No. Let’s be realistic. But starting self-exploration with your kids can help them build a stronger sense of self which will help them throughout school and beyond.
All About Me Projects for all ages
For kids 5-10 or so, you can have them create an All About Me character map. Character maps are simple enough, a lot of classes do them for fictional characters. However, it can easily be turned into something you do for yourself. First, they pick something that represents them the best to put in the middle. For example I would probably put a pen or pencil (Note: if your student isn’t much into drawing have magazines that he/she can cut out pictures from and make more of a collage). Then under or over that image tell them to write their name in any funky way they want to. From the center picture the student will make six lines extending outwards. On each of those they will put something they like. Their favorite food, their favorite color, their favorite hobby, favorite sport, ect. That’s it.
This is a great idea I came across looking for things to do in my new class. It’s called a Wonder Wall. This isn’t so much “all about me” but expanding on what your student is interested in is one way to support their individuality. Anyway, the concept is you create a “Wonder Wall” (they used brown roll of paper, a sponge, and red paint to make it look like a brick wall). Then your child or students can post any questions they come up with to the Wonder Wall. Once a week, or month, however you want to do it, read the questions and try to solve them together.
One of the best things about self exploration is discovering what it is you really want. Middle school students may like this idea. You make a hot air balloon (that’s a project all it’s own on how you want to do that but if you just want a simple idea: cut out of paper and attach a square piece with yarn). In the balloon write something like “Oh the places you will go-“ or “I can’t wait to get to-“. In the basket have your child write where they want to go most in the world and what they want to do. Here’s a good image of one.
For older students you could try a self-portrait. I know that sounds terrifying to some people but it doesn’t have to be. This teacher had his students do more of a pop art type of portrait.
You could just do the student’s silhouette and have them fill it with different things they like. Make sure to include the year!