It is hard to believe it is already time to head back to school. I always love starting out the first few weeks with various activities that go along with some of my favorite read-alouds. It’s a great way to start classroom discussions, your kiddos can make real-life connections, and it helps build a classroom community. Today I want to introduce you to a fun community-building activity that’s great for the first week back to school! This activity is based on the book, “I Promise” by Lebron James. If you’re not familiar with it… I promise you’ll want to snag it up after this post!
About the Read Aloud
If you are unfamiliar with this book, let me start off by saying how beautiful it truly is. The illustrator, Nina Mata, uses bright colors and adds diversity. She also does an amazing job with the little moments that end up being big things! For example, slamming down your hand when you trip over a jump rope or being the one that is scared to get on the bus.
Regarding the story, there isn’t a main character in this read-aloud. However, there is one little girl who appears several times. You notice her sitting on the bench where her feet are so small they don’t even touch the ground. You also see her leaning her head on her brother’s shoulder after she fails to sink a basketball.
This is a great opportunity to discuss with your students that everyone has challenges, but it’s important to work hard and be respectful towards others.
Classroom Community Building-Student Promises
After reading the story, it’s a perfect time to discuss the book’s main theme, making a promise to be your best self for yourself and others.
At the end of the book, students are encouraged to make their own promises of being their best. Discuss as a class what this might look like. As students share, make a record of their responses. A class anchor chart would be great here!
To promote discussion, you can even make the first part of this activity a partner-share where students will talk to their partners about their promises. Afterward, students can share their responses, which can be added to the anchor chart.
Some examples could include:
- making good choices
- sharing with friends
- being a good listener
- using kind and caring words
- showing respect to everyone
- always being honest and telling the truth
Class Promise Craft
After completing the discussion, have your students create this fun basketball-themed craft!
This makes perfect sense since the author is LeBron James.
To start, print off enough pieces of the craft for each of your students.
Then, have your students write their promises on their basketball sheets. If you have younger students that may have trouble writing early in the year, you could also provide a sentence starter.
Once students have finished their promise, have students work to assemble the rest of the craft. Display their promises in the classroom as a reminder to be your best self all year long!
Bulletin Board Idea
Once your students assemble their crafts, you can create a bulletin board. You can add the words “Our Promise” and then add each student’s individual promise to the board. You can display this before you have Open House when parents or caregivers come to visit the classroom. This would also require very minimal prep. I know the beginning of the school year can be chaotic, so it’s a bonus if it saves you time!
I Promise Classroom Community Activity
So there you have it! This read-aloud must be shared with your students at the beginning of the school year. Not only are the illustrations in the book beautiful, but more importantly, I love the book’s message. It also provides motivation for your students and sets the tone for a successful school year.
Back to School Classroom Community Activity
Like this activity? This craft is a FREE download for all Applicious Resource Library members! To grab it sign up below or at the end of this post! Then, navigate to the library to download this great back-to-school craft!
Remember, you can find this book on Amazon. Check it out here! Comment below and share one of your favorite back-to-school read-alouds, and why it’s your favorite.
- 5 Bulletin Boards That You Can Keep Up All Year
- Back to School Books for 3rd Grade
- 10 Easy Back to School Bulletin Boards
- The Best Back to School Books for 2nd Grade