These six books touch upon the first word that many students learn – their own name! For preschoolers, it is the most important word in their whole world. Some students are very proud of their names. Others might struggle with unusual or unwieldy monikers. These books are great for teaching acceptance of everyone’s name – simple and short, or long and complex, old-fashioned or brand new!
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
Unhei is a little girl that leaves her home in Korea and moves to the United States. But when students on the bus can’t say her name, she decides to pick a new, American name. What name will she choose? This story is a sweet tale of friendship, kindness, and accepting others for who they are.
Extending the Learning: Ask parents to send in a brief note on how they chose their name for each student. Look up the meanings as well. Then, incorporate this into an “All About Me” unit!
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*All About Me School Unit for Preschoolers$12.00
Going to school is an exciting event for young children. This ALL ABOUT ME School Unit for Preschoolers is the perfect way to start a new school year. The unit , as well as additional literacy and math centers. All of the planning is done to make your life easier!
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum loves her beautifully unique name. That is, until she starts school. Then, other children make fun of her name in several ways, causing Chrysanthemum to droop. But what happens when their music teacher comes along? Will she be able to make Chrysanthemum bloom bright again?
Extending the Learning: Tape students’ names on sturdy paper and then invite them to paint with flowers all over it. Once the paint is dry, carefully remove the tape to reveal their name!
Alma – and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
Alma is a little girl with a big name: Alma Sophia Esperanza José Pura Candela! She asks her father why her name is so long. It doesn’t fit anywhere. Her father goes over their family history and tells her the story of her name and why it is a perfect fit for Alma.
Extending the Learning: Try these Easy Do-It-Yourself Name Activities with students to practice their own names!
Your Name Is A Song By Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
When a little girl is upset that her teacher can’t pronounce her name, her mother teaches her that every name has music in it. A beautiful story about acceptance and understanding, students will beg to sing their own names when they finish listening to the story.
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*Name Songs for Circle Time – Editable$12.00
These Name Songs for Circle Time will save you TONS of TIME! Just enter your class list once, then print 18 fun, interactive songs that you can use during circle time with your preschoolers or young learners.
Circle Time is the perfect opportunity to let young children (preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, special ed) practice their names. This set includes 18 Name Songs, complete with personalized cards for each student. Use the Name Songs for Circle Time to work on name identification, rhyming, letters, letter sounds, syllables, and name spelling. Teach a new song every 3-4 weeks to give the students time to learn it, but also to keep it fun and fresh.
Don’t waste time planning a new song and preparing the cards for each month. Just type your class list once, print the songs and name cards for the whole year, and be done in 5 minutes!
This set includes 18 NAME SONGS so that you can choose the practice that your children need.
My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits
Yoon’s name means “shining wisdom,” and it looks like it is dancing when she writes it in Korean. But her father tells her that she must learn to write it in English. However, in English, all the lines and circles stand alone, just how Yoon feels in the United States. Yoon isn’t sure that she wants to be Y-O-O-N. At her new school, she tries out different names―maybe C-A-T or B-I-R-D. But will she ever write her name Y-O-O-N?
Extending the Learning: Play “Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar” with students to practice their names!
The Change Your Name Store by Leanne Shirtliffe
Wilma Lee Wu does not like her name. So she marches to the magical “Change Your Name Store,” where she meets Ms. Zeena McFouz. Wilma tries on new names in the magical store. Each time Wilma picks a new name, she finds herself whisked to the country from which the name originates. Will Wilma find her real identity and where she truly belongs?
Extending the Learning: Try these fun Name Practice Activities with the students.
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Editable Name Practice *Set 1$6.00
These EDITABLE NAME PRACTICE pages will save you TONS of TIME! Our youngest students need lots of practice writing their names. But, it takes time to make individual worksheets. Not anymore! Just type your class list into the editable form, and the worksheets will automatically fill in each child’s name. Print and go!
This set includes 9 different worksheets so that you can customize and differentiate the practice that your children need.
More Resources for Names
All of these name resources are available in the Play to Learn Preschool Shop!
Have fun playing and learning with your students today!