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Lesson Plan #: AELP-FDA0209
Submitted by: Andrea Corr
Email: corran@muohio.edu
School/University/Affiliation: Miami University

October 23, 2001

Grade Level: 3


  • Interdisciplinary/First Day Activities
  • Language Arts/Writing
  • Computer Science

Duration: 3-4 days

Description: This lesson is to be completed at the beginning of the school year, as a way for students to introduce themselves to their fellow classmates. (It would also be nice for the teacher to complete this lesson so that the children can “meet” their teacher as well.) Students write a paragraph about themselves, type the final draft in a word processing program, and then post the paragraph on the class web page (or a class bulletin board can be used instead). Once all of the information is posted on the web page, then students participate in a Venn diagram activity to compare the similarities and differences among classmates. In addition, this lesson is a good way for the teacher to assess each student’s writing skills at the beginning of the year.


  • To have students develop a sense of pride about themselves through writing and sharing information about their personality, family, and favorite things.
  • For students to appreciate that each person is unique and that we must value the differences in others.
  • Objectives:

  • Students will be able to write a paragraph describing themselves, including details about their personality, family, and favorite things.
  • Students will revise and edit their writing to improve content, mechanics, spelling, style, and clarity at a level appropriate for the learner’s grade level.
  • Students will be able to use a word processing program to type the final draft of their paragraph.
  • Students will be able to complete a Venn diagram, identifying similarities and differences between them and another classmate.
  • Materials:

    • paper and pencils
    • crayons/markers
    • dictionaries
    • computers with word processing program
    • class web page or bulletin board
    • floppy disks
    • scanner
    • Venn Diagram Worksheet (see Internet Resource below)

    Day 1:
    (Since this is still early in the year, you may want to begin the class by having the students sit in a circle.) The teacher begins by stating her name and one interesting thing about herself. Then a student next to the teacher follows the same pattern, continuing all the way around the circle. The students may have a hard time thinking of something to share, so the teacher might tell them that they can share information about their families (I have a new baby sister.), information about their friends (My best friend’s name is…), or information about themselves (My favorite food is…). Once everyone has had a turn to share, explain to the students that, we have all just described ourselves in one way or another. Let’s brainstorm other ways you might describe yourself or someone else. Write students’ ideas on the chalkboard. Once a nice list of descriptive words has been accumulated, pass out a piece of paper and have the students write a paragraph describing themselves. During this time you may help students spell words, but encourage the use of a dictionary. When students are finished with their paragraphs, have them draw a picture of themselves on the back of the page they wrote their paragraph on. When they have completed their picture, have them turn in their sheets. (Students can read quietly at their desks until the rest of the class is finished.)

    Days 2-3:
    Students make appropriate adjustments to the paragraph they wrote previously. They will make these revisions based on the re-reading of their work and on comments made by the teacher. Students review any corrections made on their paragraphs and re-write or make any other changes to their work. When they are satisfied with their work and believe it is ready to be published, they may begin to type their paragraphs into a word processing program. (This process would be done best in a computer lab where each student has a computer terminal, but if this is not realistic for your surroundings then the students may do their work at scattered times throughout the day.) Prior to allowing students to use the computers, review any classroom computer rules that you have in place. When all students have their paragraphs typed, then have them scan in their drawings. The paragraphs and pictures will be displayed on the class web site. (If your school does not have a class web site, then you can post the typed papers and the students’ drawings on a bulleting board.) Day 4:
    Discuss how we each have things about us that are unique and that we each have our own differences. Discuss what a Venn diagram is and what each of the sections represent — namely that one side of the circle will be information about us, the other circle will be information about one of our classmates, and the overlapping part of the circles will be information that we share with that classmate. Have students use the class web site (or bulletin board) to find information about their peers. They should find someone that has something in common with them as well as something different from them. The students will fill in a Venn diagram with the information that they found on the web site (or bulletin board). When students are finished, they will share the information on their Venn diagrams.

    Assessment: How well did students behave during the brainstorming process? Did they raise their hands and wait to be called on? Did they respect each other’s ideas? Assess each student’s final draft — all aspects of the paragraph do not have to be correct, but did students take time to develop their ideas and turn in a quality piece of work? Assess students’ Venn diagrams to see if students understand each section of the diagram.

    Useful Internet Resource:
    * Laura Candler Teaching Resources – Graphic Organizers
    Click on the .pdf file for Blank Venn Diagram.