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Age range: KS2
Time: 15-20 minute starter

Hands and Feet: Hopes and Dreams

Looking for a quick starter to fire up ideas for autobiographical writing? Try this ten-minute activity where children draw round their hands and feet, before reflecting on their skills, experiences and dreams.


  • pencils and paper – two sheets of A4 per child
  • Optional: handout with handprints and footprints drawn on in advance

1) Draw around hands and feet

First, the children will need to draw around their hands and feet – two hands on one piece of paper and two feet (shoes on!) on the other. Emphasise that it doesn’t need to be super neat, just leave space for writing in.

2) Thinking about skills and activities

Get the children to look at their hands and think about what their hands have done: writing, drawing, petting cats, tagging people in ‘it’, cooking, playing sport and musical instruments etc.

In one of the hand outlines, ask the children to write what they can do with their hands. Encourage them to be specific, e.g. writing ‘mixing tasty chocolate cake with my dad’ instead of ‘cooking’.

They can then use the other hand to write down things they would like to be able to do, or to be better at. These could be skills, like learning to play guitar, or experiences, like petting a zebra.

3) Thinking about places

Now for the feet. Have the class think about where their feet have been – it doesn’t need to be about travelling to faraway places, it could be different places in their house and school.

In one of the feet, the children can write a list of the places their feet have been. Again, encourage the children to be specific.

The other foot is then free for writing places the children would like to travel. These could be real or imaginary locations, or encourage the group to include a mixture of both.

Extra Challenge

Encourage the children to develop their lists of activities and places into descriptions with adjectives, the five senses and even similes.