I use this activity to start off the year. I teach science but you could use it with any content. This allows the students to write about themselves which has value. However, even more valuable is that someone else (parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle/sibling/guardian etc..) will write something about the students. This is a crucial assignment to do, especially if you are using interactive note-booking. I tell the students that because they are the most important thing in the classroom the FIRST assignment we do each year is about them. At the end of the year I write a biographical poem about each of my students, which brings the idea of them being important full circle. The class begins and ends with them as the focus.
PLEASE NOTE** If you purchased my Nature of Science Unit you already own this assignment.