Friday, February 21, 2014

Five for Friday~TGIF {Smart Art Freebie}

Hi, Friends! How are ya? I don’t know about you….BUT for me, this has been a loooooong week! The kiddos and I had something going on every night. Today {Friday}, was the first day that we were actually able to leave school and just go home. The headache that took over most of my brain required meds and a nap; NOW I’m wide awake and excited to share our Smart Art project from today!


I love linking up with Kacey for Five for Friday because it causes me to reflect over the best parts of the week. Smart Art from this week is probably my favorite…


This Friday’s installment of Smart Art was a wrap up to our focus on nonfiction texts. Wanna really know if your kiddos comprehend the features of a given text? Have them create it, extend it, connect to it. This little cutie did all 3!!! Autobiography is a big word for a firstie to wrap their mouth around, but they totally rocked writing one! Our main story was a biography written about Tomas Rivera. Students have been independently researching African American historical figures on, so we blended the two with this activity.

After testing over our story, we researched two historical figures on and made note of how the information was organized.


I helped them get started by modeling the first page with sentence starters for students to copy and fill in the blanks. For each page, a timer was set for between 6-8 minutes to write 1-2 sentences, illustrate and color. With a set time in place to complete each page, there was no time for talking…just thinking, writing, and reading. We also stopped midway for a brain break.

After each page was completed, we met for a sec at the carpet to discuss the next heading and appropriate information to include on the page.


Students who finished early were encouraged to add text and graphic features that we had discussed during read alouds (labels, bold print, italics, highlighting, etc…).


They had such a fun time writing about themselves that almost everyone shared today!  There were lots of smiles at the carpet and thunderous applause as each friend reached the last page of their book.

….annnnd because Tomas grew up to become a published author, we’ll further connect to the story by choosing some of these to include in our classroom library! Interested in completing a little Smart Art of your own? Click the pic below to grab it!


I assembled them by folding each of the printed pages back at the center, then stacking the 3 inside pages within the cover with the open folded edge to the middle. If you have the option to print BORDERLESS images in your printer’s settings, it will stretch the PDF file to get rid of the white edge and give your friends a little more room to write and draw too. Enjoy! 

Freebie Fridays



  1. Hey Tanya! I am LOVING that autobiography template! I will definitely be using that later in the year. Thank you for sharing!

    Happy Teaching,
    Mrs. Thompson
    Adventures in Teaching (A First Grade Blog)
    My TpT Store

  2. Kids love to tell and write about themselves, don't they!? Thanks for sharing :)
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom


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