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Thematic Unit

All About Me

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"All About Me" is a powerful beginning of the year thematic unit for students and teachers to get to know each other and themselves. Most early childhood curriculum begin with this or a related theme because it provides valuable information to shape instruction for individualization. Teachers gain insights into interests, motivation, learning styles, background knowledge, and perspectives of their students.



Welcome students and begin with a simple introduction and discussion of who we are. Because this is often a beginning of the year theme, teachers should keep things very structured and simple to help students adjust to the new environment. Focus on the students, developing relationships and understanding of what makes each child special. 


What's in a Name

Kids are not only meeting their teacher and learning environment, but also a group of new friends. Some students interact with new friends easily, while others take time to warm up. An important first step is learning names. Focusing on names also help students learn to read and write their own name in order to sign in, label their work, and locate their space for their personal belongings (cubby, folder, desk, etc.)

  • Name Tags: Many schools require students to wear badges. You may include a fun simple name tag on the backside to see each name clearly. Use student photos or pictures that match student interests or classroom themes. 


  • Student Sign In: Make a sign in area where students can write their name or move a name tag to indicate their presence. This process allows students to visually identify their name in a group of names or offers them opportunities to practice writing their name daily. 

  • Alphabet Recognition: Each child decorates the first letter of their name. 

  • Name Games: Make activities that work on finding letters in their name and sequencing the letters. 


  • Make a class book to show student photos and beginning letters. 

  • Label locations for student belongings provides sense of ownership and value as part of class community. Picture and words template works well for labeling the room. 



My Body

All about me is a good time to review parts of the body. What do we all have that is the same? (eyes, ears, etc.) What is different? (color hair, glasses, height, etc.) 

  • Label Parts of Body


  • Play Simon Says


  • Mr. Potato Head is a great toy to play with while dicussing parts of the body. 



My Likes and Dislikes

Students need opportunities to tell about who they are. Provide visuals to help students point or talk about things they like and don't like. 


Sort pictures of things like and don't like. 


Read "Yummy Yucky". What things do you like or not like? 

Discuss things you like about yourself. Describe hair color, skills, etc. 

Here are more activities of like/ dislike



My Feelings

We all have feelings and there are many ways to show your feelings. Here are some activities to identify and manage feelings. 

  • Consider the different feelings we have. Make a list. 
  • Play games to identify simple feelings and emotions. 


  • Read Color Monster by Anna Llenas


  • Make sign in or check in areas to monitor feelings. 

  • Act it out! Draw a card and role play the matching feeling. Take a picture of students holding their matching feeling card and make a class book. 

  • Laminate blank faces. Use playdough, wikisticks, or dry erase markers to make expressions. 


My Friends

Play a game of "I Have Who Has" to practice learning classmates names. 

Use photos in the popular board game of "Guess Who". Learn more about adapted board games here

Make lanyard visuals with students photos accessible for students to browse and use in writing, play, and literacy. 


Language through Conversation Starters 

Make cards with visuals to use as conversation starters. Great to have accessible during lunch and table time. 




Write Poetry using beginning letters of your name. 

What makes you Special? Read "Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon" by Patty Lovell. Write about what makes you special. 

Tell about new friends at school or home. 



Emoji's have become a language of expression. Place emoji's on a popsicle stick to react and comment about topics.  

Create your own emoji cards with scenarios of when the emoji applies.

Make a rating scale for reactions to stories or information.



Social Skills and Learning Rules

What do you do when you hear your name? Teach students how to listen when they are called and why it is important. 

How do you tell someone you like them? 


Wellness Checks 

Discuss how to do a wellness check - just a quick check for each student to look at their feelings and overall body condition.




Sing - "If you're happy and you know it".

You are Special:


Calendar Math

Make calendar cards using student photos. Place on calendar facing backwards. As each day arrives, students can use clues to guess who will be on the day's card. 



Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell: Great story about having a positive attitude and being proud of who you are. 

Angelina Ballerina by Katharine Holabird: A young mouse discovers her passion. 

Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson: Great book for discussions of healthy body and friendship and caring. 

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin: Likes and dislikes and cause and effect. 

Fox Makes Friends by Adam Relf: How can you "make" a friend? 

Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lange: Monkey is feeling Grumpy. How can his friends help? 

I Believe I Can by Grace Byers: A beautiful story of limitless potential of boys and girls. 

My Gratituude Jar by Kristin Wiens: Learning the value of daily gratitude. 

Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats: Learning about growing and changing and feelings about new family members

Nobody Hugs A Cactus by Carter Goodrich: A story about kindness and friendship 

Say Something by Peter H Reynolds: Learn about the power of your voice- voices make a difference. 

Silly Wonderful You by Sherri Duskey Rinker: Beautiful descriptive words from a mother to her child.  

The Boy With Big Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee: Feelings are something to be celebrated

The Color Monster by Anna Llenas: A story about emotions

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn: A story about feelings of leaning mom and going to school. 

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper: Story about perserverence

Try A Little Kindness by Henry Cole: Book of how small acts of kindness make a difference. 



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