Getting Kids to WANT To Wear Their Glasses

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I understand what it is like to not be able to see well. One of my teachers identified that I needed glasses when I was in the fourth grade. My parents promptly took me to the eye doctor to get a pair- and I promptly hid them in my backpack where I never used them. By the time I was in the seventh grade, I grew really tired of not being able to see the board in class. At this point, I was able to convince my parents that glasses were actually not the solution to my vision problems, and thus became the first person in my class to have contacts. Point is- I get it. While I don't have an issue as much of an issue with wearing glasses, I do wear them occasionally to give my eyes a rest.

Over the years, I've had my fair share of students who hid their glasses in their backpacks in silent protest. I'll tell you, I can't think of a word to describe the feeling when you're sitting in a conference with a parent, explaining that you've noticed their child has trouble seeing- and they look at you and say "Yes, we know... that's why he has glasses?" ::Mouth drops::

So the big question- once a child gets his or her glasses, how do you get him or her to actually wear them [and be comfortable with it]?

Getting Kids to Want to Wear Glasses

 A colleague suggested getting a book about wearing glasses to read with the class. Why hadn't I thought of that?! After a little Google/Amazon research, I discovered a sweet book called Arlo Needs Glasses.

Using Arlo Needs Glasses to Get Kids to Wear Glasses

Arlo Needs Glasses is an interactive popup book. I shared this book with my class back in March. My kids were springing out of their criss-cross-applesauce positions to get a closer look at the pages. We experienced Arlo's eye exam through reading an eye chart, looking through a phoropter, and trying on different pairs. By the end of the book, even the kids who don't need glasses were wishing they did! ;) Again, I get it- when I was in the sixth grade I wanted braces (even though I didn't need them) so I could have cool glow-in-the-dark rubber bands in my mouth like all of my friends. My parents did not bite at that one.

To really make the book meaningful to my students, we did some great follow up activities, first we created our own pairs of glasses for Arlo using templates included in an activity kit from Barney Saltzberg (the author of Arlo Needs Glasses). Click here to grab it.

We then brainstormed reasons why it's so important for Arlo to wear his glasses and recorded them on a chart. 

Anchor Chart for Arlo Needs Glasses

We voted on which pair of glasses from the book we each thought he should have picked. We then organized and analyzed the data on a graph. Click here to grab a copy of the graph for free.

Graph Activity: Which Pair of Glasses Should Arlo Choose?
We also completed some writing activities as a follow up, including a persuasive piece to convince Arlo to wear his glasses.

I created a free pack of supplemental writing activities for Arlo Needs Glasses. It includes:
  • Two Persuasive Writing Prompts w/ Simple Checklists
  • Letter Writing Prompt w/ Two Differentiated Lined Pages
  • Narrative Story Prompt w/ Planner Organizer, Draft Page, and Publishing Pages
It is available for free-
You can grab it by clicking here
Supplemental Activities for Arlo Need's Glasses

Have you ever had students that had issues with wearing glasses? How did you handle it?


  1. I had several students start to wear glasses during the year last year. It's especially hard for them when they are first getting used to them. I wish I had known about this book. Thank you for sharing the book and the wonderful activities to go with it.

    1. Mona,

      Thank you so much for your comment! My kids loved reading "Arlo Needs Glasses". They asked me to read it several times after, and even made connections to it later in the year. It's targeted towards younger children, but with the follow up activities can be adapted for first grade. Definitely check it out if you can!

      Thanks again!

  2. This is great! I have the same problem as well, so this book is going to be awesome! I have a "Glasses Club" and since I wear glasses, my students love to be a part of my club! Thank you for sharing!

    All the best!

    1. Elizabeth,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment! I truly appreciate it! This book was a life saver- it made such a difference once all my little ones could see. Love the idea of a glasses club! I will use that next year! ;)

      Thanks again!

  3. I have had that same parent teacher conference moment too- actually more than once! :-( These activities look great & the book is darling! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Diana,

      Thank you for your comment! Here's my new idea- on my back to school survey I'm going to include a question that specifically asks the parents if their child wears glasses, or if they think they might need to. Let's see if that helps a little? :P


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  8. This is great! Thanks for this. I hope we can get our brother to want to wear their eyeglasses. I read a lot of tips regarding eyeglasses for kids and I think the finale of all of these is that the kids will wear these eyeglasses. Thank you.

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