Somehow, when my parents retired to Florida twenty-five years ago, flamingos started appearing here in Virginia; in my yard, in my house, on my porch, and yes, even in my classroom.
My last year of full-time teaching, I started off with a flamingo theme that included behavior charts, basket labels, posters, books, and stuffed flamingos. One of the books I discovered was Miss Mingo and the First Day of School, written and illustrated by Jamie Harper.
Miss Mingo is, of course, a flamingo who asks her class full of critters to take turns sharing how they are special. I love this book’s whimsical approach to highlighting the ways we are all unique. It’s a wonderful read-aloud for any group of diverse learners that helps set the tone for the year.
I have created a set of writing response sheets to share with you that is the perfect accompaniment for this book. There are four different response sheets so you can choose the one most appropriate for your kindergarten, first, or second-grade students. Be sure to brainstorm ideas orally first. You might also want to display a list of words or phrases for support.
The first one is for simply drawing a response. The second one provides some support for writing a sentence. The other two offer different writing lines. Although I have not included a response sheet, you can extend this activity for second and third graders by asking them to tell something special about three of the animals in the book and three ways in which they, themselves are special.
Just because I love the flamingo theme, I have also created a back-to-school pencil tag. Print on card stock for durability. Cut around the outside black line, then through the middle of the heavier black lines to leave a border around the tags. The first set can be taped to pencils. You can use an X-acto utility knife to cut slits as indicated on the second set and insert a pencil through the slits.
Click here to download the writing response sheets and pencil tags.