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Lesson Objective:

In third and fourth grade, students are expected to identify who they are as a reader by creating a "reading identity." A reading identity states the student's attitude towards reading, the locations they prefer to read in, how often they enjoy reading, and what book genres they like. However, creating a reading identity may be difficult for a kid who has reading challenges or does not enjoy reading.

This project aims to help students creatively make their reading identity. Students can use this project first visually to identify what they like. Then, they can apply their identifications to create a reading identity. For example, if the student has determined that their favorite place is the park, then they may try reading in the park to see if this is more enjoyable than reading elsewhere.


  • One 12x18-inch sheet of paper

  • Markers

  • Crayons

  • Eraser

  • Pencil


  • Decorating materials (such as stickers and glitter)


  1. Fold the 12x18-inch paper horizontally in half, lightly creasing the paper on this fold.

  2. Open the previously folded paper. Taking the left side of the paper and fold it inwards towards the crease line that was made in step one. Align the left edge of the paper with the crease line and crease this fold by running your finger on it until the flap lays down flat. Repeat this step with the right side of the paper. Once completed, the student's paper should look like a trifold. (see video for example)

  3. Keeping the two flaps closed and flat, the student will sketch a self-portrait on top of the two flaps. (see below for instructions on how to draw an easy self-portrait)

  4. Next, the student should write their name on the flaps.

  5. Then, students should think of answers to the following questions: What do they like to do outside of school? What places do they like to spend time? What is their favorite type of movie (fictional, fantasy, action, science fiction, etc.)? What are things that make them happy?

  6. Afterward, the student should sketch depictions of their answers onto the large internal panel of their trifold. (see video example)

  7. Students can decorate the inside flaps of their trifold using their favorite color crayons or markers (beware that a marker may bleed through the paper and be visible on the front of the flap).

  8. Finally, with a parent or friend, the student can discuss how their project can help them build a reading identity.

Discussion Example:

  • Parent: "What did you say your favorite type movie is?"

  • Student: "I like fictional movies about fairies, so I drew pictures of fairies on my project."

  • Parent: "Since you like stories about fairies, we should try reading 'The Rainbow Magic Fairy Tale Fairies' together. It is all about fairy friends."

How to draw an easy self-portrait:

Video example for a detailed self-portrait:

Step by Step Photo and Video Examples:


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