Sunday, January 27, 2013

Life-Size Famous American Projects

This past Friday morning, I was in a panic trying to think of a project for my students to create on the famous Americans that we've been studying. We had parent-teacher conferences the night before so I didn't have much time to prepare anyting. (That's my excuse at least!) An idea hit me at the last moment and I knew my students would love it! I decided to have my kiddos make life-size famous Americans using butcher paper and construction paper. I wanted them to do some writing as well so I thought that each member of the group could be in charge of a box or bubble showing what that person said (Wise Words), did (Amazing Action), thought (Thoughtful Thoughts), and a trait to describe him/her (Terrific Trait). To be honest, I was a little nervous about this project at first because I'd never done it with my students before and it was going to be a little crazy, but it went so smoothly! Their creations turned out absolutely adorable and it was such a meaningful and fun project.

I first put the kids into groups of 4 and assigned them a famous American. Our six people were Abraham Lincoln, Harriett Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr., and George Washington. One person from each group laid down on a large, white piece of butcher paper while another student traced them. They cut the person out and then began using contruction paper to turn it into their famous American. My teammate, Kristin, has this great skin-color construction paper so we used that for the head and hands. I let them use books that we've been reading so they could look at the pictures for ideas of what they looked like. After they finished creating their person, they worked on the boxes/bubbles. Here are some pics of our finished famous Americans:

I love Abe's beard and bow tie!

It's hard to tell in the picture but Susan B. has ruffles around her neck and wrists!

Doesn't this look just like MLK?!

Sojourner was given patches on her dress and glasses... so cute!

Harriett has patches and some fringe on her dress =)

I LOVE George's curled hair and hat!
 Here are some close-ups of faces and the boxes/bubbles:

This project was amazing for me to watch. The kids worked really well together and were so creative! I love how these look in the hallway and best of all- it was SO easy! If you'd like to make these famous Americans, you can download the boxes/bubbles {here}.

Another resource that you can use when teaching about famous Americans is the new product I just posted called My Book of Famous Americans. This product allows your students to create their own non-fiction book complete with a table of contents! They will love being a real author of a non-fiction book. Plus, it's a great way for you to assess what they've learned.

To create the books for your students just print double-sided, fold down the middle, and staple. My students absolutely LOVE making books like this. To see more views of the book or to snag your copy, click on the picture below!


  1. I love your famous Americans! I have been trying to find some cute activities and those turned out adorable! Just put your book into my wishlist too!

    Rowdy in First Grade

  2. The famous Americans came out great! Awesome job :)

    The Brown-Bag Teacher

  3. Hi! I am your newest follower! I LOVE your blog! SO CUTE!

    -Holly Phinney

  4. Those turned out so well!! We just finished our famous American unit, so I will save this for next year!

    EduKate and Inspire

  5. Oh My!! I am in love this writing unit. I teach first grade and I want to find a way to use it next year! Great idea. Thanks for sharing.
    Curious Firsties