First day of school:

Welcome students with read-alouds and colorful, confidence-building crafts

First-Day Pocket Puppets

Read aloud First Day, Hooray! by Nancy Poydar (Holiday House, 1999). Then have children make pocket puppets to share their excitement about the first day of school.

For this project, you'll need construction paper in a light color, half sheets of white construction paper, markers, scissors, glue, and a wide craft stick. Guide students through the following steps:

(1) Fold a full sheet of construction paper in half. Seal the edges of the long side and one of the short sides with glue to create a pocket.

(2) After the glue dries, cut a 1" opening along the sealed bottom edge of the pocket. Write "Hooray for the First Day of School!" on the front of your pocket and decorate it.

(3) Take a half-sheet of white paper and draw a picture of your-self on the first day of school to use as the puppet. You may want to include your name tag, backpack, or lunchbox.

(4) Draw and cut a generous outline around your self-portrait. Glue the cutout to a wide craft stick to make a puppet.