Every year I assign "Me Bags" as a getting to know you homework the first week. I have my own that I share on the first day to introduce myself and show students what sorts of things to include. My bag has a photo of my family, a sea shell because I love the beach, a dog toy to represent my three crazy fur babies, a flower I pick from my garden that morning, and a little plastic airplane because I love to travel. Kiddos LOVE sharing their bags!!! I usually jot down a couple notes while they are speaking and stash it in their folder so I can refer back to their interests.
This file is a description of the assignment for older students to reference and to explain the assignment to parents of younger students. I staple it to a paper lunch bag (white or brown is fine) and send it home. We do a few a day as they come back to school.
Have fun! I hope your students enjoy this homework assignment as much as mine have! :)