I always start the year with the book Chrystanthemum by Kevin Henkes. We do lots of activities with the book including story mapping, sequencing, graphing, and so on. One really fun activity is having students talk with parents about their own names, who chose the name and why, and so on. I then have them write an acrostic using the letters of their names. We publish these acrostic poems and hang them in the hall for parents to enjoy at Parent Night. This year, I gave students a pencil-drawn outline of a body (somewhat like a paper doll) then had them turn it into a self portrait, including the clothes they were wearing at that time. These self-portraits then hold a "sign" with the student's name acrostic. Here are some pictures of our display:
Don't you LOVE kids' self-portraits?!