The Best Part of Me #17

Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers

Check out more slices at Two Writing Teachers

Do you know this book?

The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald

The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald

A photographer asked children  “What is the best part of you?” Each child wrote a short essay explaining their best part and it was compiled into a book.

I discovered this book several years ago and introduced it to teachers as a possible writing lesson. They oohed and ahhed as they looked at the book, but that’s as far as it has ever gone. I have never seen evidence that anyone tried it with their class.

This week I walked into a school, hustling down the hall to the room where I would meet with the teachers and stopped in my tracks. On the wall was a small display of black and white photos of body parts and writings below. I didn’t have time to stop at that moment, but knew I would revisit to study the pictures and read the writing. And take photos of their work.

mouth ear mouth 2

I had not introduced the book to this school. I was curious if someone had this book. What I discovered was this writing was from a special education class. The teacher had no clue there was a book . She had seen something on Pinterest and that had prompted her project. She said the kids had loved doing this.

Here are two of them (original spelling retained):

The Best Part of Mehands

My hands are the best part of me. They hlp me turn pages in books so I can read. My hands hlp me lift wood for the fire. I use my hands to blld presnts for my sisters.

feetThe Best Part of Me

My feet are the best prt of me. I can wok inewher with my feet. I can run at reses with my feet. I can stand up with my feet.


So now I must ponder, what is the best part of me?



31 thoughts on “The Best Part of Me #17

  1. The best part of me is my hands because I love to draw and write.Also, they help me when I play sports.I can hold almost anything with my hands.if we didn’t have hands we couldn’t do a lot of stuff.hands, I thick are the best.

  2. I just bookmarked the book, Elsie. What a wonderful idea, & how serendipitous that that school had a teacher who didn’t know but just saw an idea. I will certainly share & share this one! Congrats on your commenting, too. I notice, & always appreciate your comments!

  3. What a great idea to do with my kindergarten kiddos! I can just imagine many saying the missing tooth is their favorite part. I’d be very curious to hear what they had to say. I just might have to try this out! Art project AND writing all in one! Can’t beat it!

  4. Wow, what a neat project! I’m so glad you shared the student pieces with us. (I wish I taught younger kids so I could do this — although I wonder if my high schoolers would go for it as a slice of life? It might be a cool way to introduce slicing to my beginners…) Thanks for giving me something to ponder!

    My best part is my smile. I’ve always been known for my huge smile that crinkles up my eyes so much that everyone wonders how I can see out of them!

  5. Looks like another addition for my Amazon cart. This idea reminds me of a school I visited a few weeks ago. At the beginning of the year they talked about their individual gifts that they bring to the classroom. They wrote about them and they were displayed either in or outside the classroom. Kept there the whole year to remind everyone that each has gifts to bring to the community. Thanks for sharing the book.

  6. love, Love, LOVE! I am going to share this with teacher-friends near and far, and then I am going to use this as a spring project that will reel them back in as they want to play outside, and keep them practicing all of the skills we have worked so hard on this year, while having fun! Thanks for sharing, Elsie!

  7. Jaana says:

    Wonderful idea! I will save this idea for after our testing season is finally over. Elsie, thank you for the many comments on my students’ posts!

  8. Where did I put that book? Yes I will confess I heard about it in a workshop and didn’t follow up. 😦 Good ideas sometimes get lost under stuff I don’t want to do but am mandated to do. But…thanks for reminding me. I get lost, also under all the parts of me(I am thinking deeper than physical parts here) that I feel I fail at that often I do NOT think about the best part of me. Thanks for that reminder, too.

  9. Judy C. says:

    What a great idea – too bad the teachers you introduced it to didn’t follow thru. I know I can pick out a lot of parts about me that I don’t like. How refreshing and positive to think of the “best part” of me.

  10. I love this! Thanks for sharing all of the images with us.

    BTW: You won the Classroom Commenting Challenge. Thanks for all of your hard work. 45 student blogs was a heck of a lot considering how many adult blogs you comment on daily as part of this challenge. Thanks for all that you do for our writing community, Elsie!

  11. I am so buying this book and doing this project with my kids! What a great idea for kids to think of themselves and how they value themselves. Thanks, Elsie for the examples, too! I love the one with the missing tooth – kids! Gotta love them!

  12. This is awesome… I read this book as a read aloud to my students and then they write a piece. They are in 7th and 8th grade and they love it 🙂

  13. Lynn says:

    What a great idea to get students thinking and writing! I want to think about my best part . . . hmmm an idea for a slice! Thanks for sharing Elsie.

  14. This is such a wonderful mentor text for photo essays. I love that you shared student work. My favorite part of me is my eyes, their color, they help me to see all things beautiful or not, learn, absorb…read. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. Tam says:

    This is a great book to present. Just your title caught my eye and I was already thinking, “What is the best part of me?” Kids will love it. I’ve got a good question for my grandkids.

  16. Wow. This is beautiful and striking. I’m unfamiliar with the book, but again your thoughts lead me to Amazon. How awesome, Elsie. I love that you included photographs of student work as well as typing out their texts. Nice!

  17. Oh, I love this. Especially the photographs of the children’s writing. I think the best part of me is my hands. Hands that hold babies in the church nursery. Or maybe my ears. Ears to listen.
    What is your best part Elsie?

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