Class Yellow Pages

Here’s a beginning-of-the-year project that helps classmates get to know each other by “advertising” their strengths:

Each student thinks of things they are good at in school and could help other students with. For example:

“I am good at long division.”
“I can illustrate really well.”
“I am a good speller.”

Have the children collect their ideas by making lists, completing sentence starters, or drawing pictures.

Then, after looking together at advertisements in the real phonebook’s yellow pages, have students create ads for the services they want to offer to the class. (For younger students, these might be drawings with captions, while older students could be challenged to model their ads more closely on the actual yellow pages.)

Take all the children’s ads and copy them onto yellow paper. Bind them together to create a Class Yellow Pages book for your classroom library. Encourage students to use it when they’re looking for help—and to add entries as the year goes on and they discover more things they’re good at. If your experience is like mine, you’ll find that Class Yellow Pages are a popular resource—you might want to make several copies!

Tina Valentine worked as a Responsive Classroom consultant from 2009 to 2012. Before that, she served in the Springfield, Massachusetts public schools as an administrator, special education teacher, and test coordinator.

Tags: Building Classroom Community