Lesson Plan Submitted by: Pa Walker
4th Grade Teacher at Cahaba Heights Elementary in Birmingham, Alabama. Grades: 2nd - 5th grades
Fold a sheet of 12"x18" (30.5 x 46 cm) white drawing paper in half "long ways," like a hot dog. Write each student's first name with a black magic marker along the fold of the paper. (Older students write their own names of course) Use manuscript for those who can't read cursive, otherwise, cursive works best. Omit the "tails" of any letters that drop below the fold. Turn the paper over and trace the name. (This works best if you hold it up to a glass door or window.) When you open the paper you now have a mirror image of the student's name.
When I introduce this activity, I show each child's name to the class as it appeared when I first wrote it on the fold. I tell them that they may create their alien vertically beginning at either end. I then open the paper and show the class the vertical mirror image of the name. The children love this and get excited about telling the person which way to draw their alien. I tell the children that their alien can have as many ears, eyes, arms, etc. as they wish it to have. When their alien is finished, they must place it in it's environment, i.e. on it's planet, out in space, on a spaceship, etc. This eliminates a white background!
The children love this activity so much that we do it again in the spring using their last names. These are great for Open House or for Art Shows and the children love them! They also go great with a unit on the Solar System!
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