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"When I Was Little" Book Lesson

One of the first homework assignments I ask my students to complete with their parents is a Baby Name Page. This The Baby Name Page assignment is explained in my article “Homework: Why It is Important”. One of the follow-up activities to complement this assignment corresponds with the incredibly cute book When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth by Jamie Lee Curtis.


1. Show each baby pictures of your students one at a time and see if the class can guess who is in the photo. I do not discuss the story of each students name yet, which is also on the Baby Name Page, I save that for another activity.

2. Bring a photo of yourself as a baby to share as well. Your students will get a kick out of seeing you as baby or a young child.

3. Demonstrate to students how much they have grown by cutting a yarn the length of an average baby and putting it next to each student in class. Students can help you determine the length of an average baby.

4. Compare some infant clothing and shoes to the size students wear now. Ask students about some more ways they have changed?
5. Ask students to think of some things they could NOT do when they were babies but that they can do now.

6. Read When I Was Little by Jamie Lee Curtis. I usually read the book in a snooty, loud, obnoxious little girl voice and my class always joins in on the “When I was little…” part.

7. After the story, have each student try to think of one thing that they did when they are little and how it is different now. “I used to eat mushy food, but now I can chomp nuts with my teeth.” Encourage each student to try and think of at least one thing that they can do now that they could not do when they were a baby because they will all be writing and illustrating their own sentence in a few minutes.

8. Model your thinking and writing of one sentence about when you were little. Draw two corresponding illustrations. Review with the students what makes a quality piece of work for this assignment (name, date, capital letter at the beginning of the sentence, ending punctuation, and pictures that match what was written etc.)

9. Have students turn to a partner and share what they are going to write about.

10. Finally, have students return to their desk to write their sentence “When I was little…” and illustrate two corresponding pictures from when they were a baby and now.

I asked Michael what kind of sandwich he had brought today. “A regular one.” was his reply.
Michael L. from Ms. Atkinson’s Class 2006-2007





For some more great ideas on making the home school connection through homework, check out some of the other teacher advisor's articles!
Homework: Applying Research to Policy by Angela Bunyi

No Homework Required for Kindergartners by Naomi Randolph and Alexandra Savvas



Jennifer: I love the Baby Name Project. Do you have a copyof the worksheet you give them to fill out besides the letter?


I do have a PDF of the Baby Name sheet that I send home. When I get back to school on Monday I will post the PDF with this blog and sent it directly to you in an email, too.


I never received the Baby Name sheet. I go back to work next Tuesday after 14 weeks of maternity leave and would love to send it out ot get to know the first grade families.

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