I love the beginning of a new school year! I love going to Target and stocking up on school supplies, buying new clothes for the kids, and I love to see the smiling faces of my new class of firsties! Before we dive head first into curriculum I always take a few days to establish routines and expectations. I really try to do this in a a fun and exciting way. Who better to help with that than David in the classic book David Goes to School.
Before we begin reading David Goes to School I review the three rules we have at our school. My school’s rules are Be Responsible, Be Safe, and Be Respectful. We take some time to discuss what each of these means and how they should look in the classroom. After we do this, we make our class anchor.
After creating our anchor chart we read the book. As we read this book I stop to check to see if students can identify which of the three rules David is breaking. I also want to make sure students understand why it is important that David follow each rule. I always make sure to ask them what could happen because David broke the rules. I need for my kiddos to understand that everyone has the right to feel safe at school and that they should not interrupt other people’s learning. I try to explain to them that although we will have lots of fun, we are here to learn. I really try to emphasize that as adults we make rules to keep them safe and to make school a great place to learn.
After we read David Goes to School we do a directed drawing of David breaking a rule. Any rule of their choice. I help them learn to draw David. The rest is up to them. I suggest taking it one step at a time explicitly calling out the shapes you are drawing. I also take a moment to talk about what coloring should look like in first grade.Just take a look at how well some of my budding illustrators did!
After we draw, it’s time to write. This is usually the second day of school so we ease into writing. The students are given sentence, a sentence frame, and a sentence to complete on their own. The prompt I use is: David is not following the rules. He is not being _____. My student choose being respectful, safe, or responsible. Then the last sentence is their own sentence that describes what David is doing in the picture they illustrated. Here is how a few of them turned out.
What do you think? I think they are adorable and parents love them. I always get positive feedback from parents when they come for curriculum night. If you are wondering about my David pieces I use a modified version from Kathryn over at Criss Cross Aplesause. Instead of using it as a puppet, I wanted it to look like David was holding their writing about him. You can grab my version of David by clicking on the picture.
I have used this David lesson for years! My kiddos love it and we really establish expectations and a positive learning environment at the very beginning of the year. I hope you are able to grab an idea or two and if you use David, please email me or direct message me on Instagram. I’d love to see how David helps your class learn school rules!