Kindergarteners discover what makes them special
“You're part Costa Rican … Let’s draw a picture of that country’s flag together.”
“Yes, you are a good big sister. Let’s include that.”
“I didn’t know swings were your favorite part of the playground!”
Meadow Pond’s cafeteria was brimming with warmth and love as kindergarteners and their younger brothers and sisters, moms, dads and even some grandparents gathered to talk about what makes each young student special.
Each student is a a unique individual
Using markers and paper, each student created an Identity Map—a visual that looks basically like a starburst with them at the center, surrounded by their favorite activities, holidays their family celebrates, and other aspects of themselves. The project is part of the school and district’s commitment to social and emotional learning—helping children become self-aware is a step towards self-management, social awareness and relationship skills.
drawing and writing
We are more than one thing
Assistant Principal David Bournas-Ney introduced the project to the kindergarten families. He held up a copy of “What I Am,” a picture book by Divya Srinivasan about a child who considers what makes her unique. “Your children have been thinking and talking about different parts of themselves after reading this book,” he said.
The Identify Maps kindergarteners created included pet hamsters and chickens, a love of carrots as well as chocolate chip cookies, favorite vacations, flags representing heritages including the planet Earth and much more. One student asked her mom to look up the school mascot’s image on her phone so that she could draw Max the Moose on her Identity Map!
“Making Identity Maps builds students’ understanding of who they are,” said teacher Jackie Kovatch, calling the project a wonderful learning and bonding activity.