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Featured Activity

My Voice Activity: ID Plaque

Grades: All grades • Curriculum: Speaking & Listening

My Voice starts at the center, with the student. Who are you? What unique combination of gifts and talents makes you who you are? This activity is a positive, upbeat way to launch the service-learning process in your classroom. It's also a great icebreaker for the start of the school year.

Students name and reflect on their personal gifts and talents; they also learn more about their classmates and find common interests through the sharing of responses.

"Great activity. Lets the kids see they all have something to contribute."
7th/8th grade teacher

Description: Students answer four categories of questions that focus on their personal gifts and interests. Photographs of each student become the visual centerpiece for the ID Plaque. Students are given the opportunity to share their answers with the class.

Time Frame: 90 minutes (two 45-minute sessions)

Materials:
1. Camera
2. Handout - ID Plaque
3. Pencils, crayons or markers
4. Stapler

Objectives – Students will be able to:
1. Identify their personal gifts and talents.
2. Recognize the similarities and differences between themselves and their classmates.

Procedures:
1. Remind students of this year’s focus on service-learning.
2. Introduce the exercise by explaining that the purpose of this activity is to learn about class
members’ gifts and talents.
3. Distribute the ID Plaques, and review the four categories with students. As a warm up, share your
ID Plaque and ask for a few examples of possible answers to the categories. Note: “Words that describe me” should be words that describe the students’ qualities or character traits, not their physical appearance.
4. Ask the students to write their answers. Explain that students will be sharing their ID Plaques with
the class.
5. Distribute crayons or markers to those who have completed their answers so students can decorate
their ID Plaques.
6. As students are working, take their photos and staple the picture in the middle of their ID Plaque.

Sharing ID Plaques:
7. Create a “safe” environment for sharing by explaining to the class that this is an opportunity to
share something new about yourself and to listen to your classmates. Set ground rules.
8. There are several ways students can share their ID Plaques with their classmates:
➢ Go around the room and ask each student to share at least one response to each category.
➢ Display the ID Plaques in the classroom for students to view.
➢ Ask one or two students to share their ID Plaques each day before class ends or at another appropriate time.
9. To conclude, ask students if their classmates gave any responses that were particularly interesting or surprising, or if there were any students with whom they share the same gifts or interests.

Assessment:
1. Was the ID Plaque completed with sufficient effort and thoroughness?
2. Was there a willingness to share and listen supportively to peers?

Curriculum Standards: Writing, Speaking, Listening

Extension/Homework:
Art: Students draw pictures, bring in photos, or cut out pictures from magazines to create a collage that depicts and expands on their ID Plaque responses. Display collages in the classroom.

Download a PDF of this Sample Activity