You are here

Back-to-School Icebreaker: "All About Me" Placemat

EducationWorld partner Cre8time has shared this resource from Ellison, provider of die-cut equipment, supplies and related educational resources.

Subjectget to know you

-Life Science
-Social Studies
-Visual Arts



Brief Description

Students celebrate their individuality and build self-awareness by creating personalized placemats. They share three to five special qualities about themselves and incorporate these into their artwork.


Students will:

  • Create personalized placemats to celebrate their special qualities.


First days of school, back to school, icebreaker, get to know you, all about me, identity, individuality, self-awareness

Materials Needed



Adhesive numbers, cardstock, construction paper, crayons, glue, pen, photo, poster board, scissors, tape, double-sided tape

Lesson Plan

Students can customize these art projects with die-cuts, photographs and illustrations. Laminate the projects for practical use and consider displaying them for back-to-school time or Open House. These placemats are great icebreakers for the beginning of the year, as students and teachers learn about each other and the special talents of individuals in the classroom community. The projects can also be created as special gifts year-round. As part of an end-of-the-year celebration, consider using the mats to highlight favorite things students have learned in class.


  • Cut out (die-cut, if desired) the materials for student use prior to the lesson.
  • Cut an 11" x 15" piece of cardstock, poster board or construction paper for each child.

Lessonback to school

  1. Each student should bring in a photo of him/herself. Mat the photo on a coordinating piece of cardstock or construction paper using glue, tape or other adhesive. Adhere the photo in the top left corner of the placemat (see image at the top of this lesson).
  2. Using the AllStar 1 1/2" Uppercase Alphabet, die-cut the letters for each student's name.
  3. Die-cut the House for each student from colored construction paper.
  4. Each child will arrange his/her name with the House below it. Adhere the student name and House to the placemat, leaving room to draw his or her family.icebreaker
  5. Using crayons, students should draw their families, including pets, if desired.
  6. Die-cut a Birthday Cake & Candles for each student from a variety of cake, frosting and candle colors (see above). Additional Candles will be needed depending on students' ages.
  7. Die-cut the flame area of the Candles from yellow construction paper for each student with enough flames for each candle. Students will cut the flame from the yellow Candles and adhere it over the various colored Candles (see right).
  8. Leave one Cake whole. Cut along the perforated lines on a frosting-colored Cake. Be sure to cut both the top and the middle of the Cake (see below). Attach the frosting to the whole Cake. Add the correct number of Candles. Adhere the decorated Cake to the placemat.first day of school
  9. Students may write their birth dates on the Cake or use adhesive letters.
  10. Laminate the completed placemat for easy cleanup (see image at the top of this lesson).



Students can present their placemats to the class. Through this process, they practice speaking and listening skills while learning about their peers.

Lesson Plan Source

Cre8time, through partnership with EducationWorld

Submitted By


National Standards

Visual Arts

Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

GRADES 5 - 8
Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.5 Reflecting Upon and Assessing the Characteristics and Merits of Their Work and the Work of Others
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines


Helping individuals reclaim their creativity, the community is a place for sharing and getting inspired. These "quality time" activities for families and classrooms reinforce the value and rewards of crafting.

Education World®             
Copyright © 2013 Education World