Ever read ‘Name Jar’ by Yangsook Choi? Such a fantastic novel to read to your students at the beginning of the year. Hard to put a grade level to it since I did it while beginning teachers college and it was definitely a conversation starter and friendship builder in our classroom.
‘Name Jar’ is simply about a little girl who is new to America from Korea. She has a name that is unfamiliar to others and difficult to pronounce so she goes along with an ‘unknown’ name until all the other children, one specifically, started a ‘name jar’. The children placed all different names into this jar for the new girl to choose from. At the end of the book, she ended up keeping her own name and all the children accepted her. The greatest part is, the teacher does not interfere throughout the entire experience.
This is a great book to go along with my previous post where I listed beginner or first week back to school activities. It helps students understand that we each have different names, some easier to pronounce then others, but that is what makes us unique! Also, it allows students to familiarize themselves with the names of their fellow peers, and more importantly, how to pronounce them. You can even extend the activity by asking a list of questions in reflection of the book, ‘Name Jar’ and engage in a follow up activity asking the significance of each child’s name. I believe every name has it’s story – it has a lot to do with where we come from, where we are going and who we are!
Here are some other great books to use!
Disclosure: This post contains an Amazon Associate link