At this time of year in kindergarten we spend a lot of time working with our students’ names. Their name is the first gift their parents gave them, and each child has a strong attachment to his or her name. Names are a fantastic and necessary jumping off point for so much literacy work! I am going to spend a few posts sharing some of my favorite name activities.
This first activity is really homework. I send a little card home with every student and ask them to learn the story of their name. Mom or Dad (or whoever else) can actually write the story on the card, but my hope is to prompt a conversation at home about the child’s name. I ask them to find out how and why their parents chose their name. It could have been from looking through a name book, naming them after a family member, searching for a name with a special meaning or certain letters – who knows. The important thing is to help solidify in your students the idea that their name is special and just perfect for them.
Once I have collected the stories, we share a few out loud each day. It is striking every year how much the kids LOVE hearing and sharing about their names. On a side note, this can be a great way to learn a little bit more about your students’ families and what is important to them. This is an easy, powerful, and special way to begin a study of names. What is your name story?
If you would like to try this with your students, you can click here to download the letter I send home to families, and the name story card printable. Enjoy!