The Kissing Hand


This is a wonderful story for the first day of school. It is about a little racoon named Chester who was very scared about going to school, but learned that his mother could be with him, wherever he may be, with the help of a kissing hand. I am including several poems and activities that we participate in, in our classroom the first 3 days of school.


The first day of school we....

Read the story and discuss how we felt coming to our first day of first grade.

I also introduce the students to a stuffed racoon, that I tell them is Chester. He leaves a letter and a clue that leads to a scavenger hunt around the school. We go from place to place finding new clues from Chester. We also discuss how to behave in each place. The hunt eventually leads back to our classroom, where hand and heart cookies are waiting for the kids. The following link will give you a great poem to start your scavenger hunt.

We also create a poem for their parents. I take the large construction paper and fold in both ends until they meet. This makes a perfect spot to glue the poem in the middle and have 2 flaps, one for each hand. I have the kids put a handprint on each end. I am attaching this poem, I found at I changed the poem to fit first grade.

The First Day (Kissing Hand Poem)

On Day 2:

We re-read the story. Then I have students trace and cut our their own hand. Have precut hearts on 8 x 12 red paper available. On the heart, write the child's name kissing hand. Do not gule down the middle and ring finger--tuck them under so it's the sign for "I love you". Glue the hand onto the heart and fill in the child's name. Display on a bulletin board entitled "The Kissing Hand".

Next, on a pocket chart, do a counting activity--put the number card for the numbers 1-10, then have the children put up that many hearts for each number. Extension would be to add 11-20.

You may also want to Read and Match Names:

Make cut out hands and put each child's name on one hand. Display the hands on the bottom lines of the pocket chart. Then Write each child's name on a card. The teacher will hold onto these cards.

Write the sentence "This is _____________'s hand." on a sentence strip and place the sentence strip at the top of the pocket chart. Put a name card in the blank space of the sentence strip. Have each child read the sentence when his/her name is seen. Then have someone else in the class find the hand at the bottom of the pocket chart that has that child's name on it.

We also make kissing hand puzzles. See this site for a better description:

On Day 3:

We reread the story.

Then we do a graphing question in the pocket chart. The question we ask is, "Who is your favorite character in THE KISSING HAND?" Chester or Mom. Then we discuss the results.

We also list words ont eh pocket chart such as Chester, mom, school, raccoon, kissing, hand and heart. Students will use these words to write something about the story. For example: The Kissing Hand was a good story because______________.

You may also want the kids to create patterns with hand and hearts.