Chrysanthemum ~ Kevin Henkes
What’s Your Name?
A Guide to First Names and what They Mean ~ B. Goodman & N. Krulik
The kids’ names are the very first words on our Word Wall. I put them
all up at the beginning of the year and we go over them every day. I
point at them with a very long pointer as we read them. As the kids
learn them, I stop reading with them and let them read the words to me.
Click here for a picture of our
Word Wall Bingo:
Provide each student with a piece of paper divided into 9 boxes or whatever
is appropriate for your students. Have them copy a name from the Word
Wall THAT THEY CAN READ into each box. As you call out a name from the
wall, write it down on a sheet of paper (I keep a clipboard loaded with
paper and handy for this). When all the names on their page is
covered, check for accuracy against your list. If they are correct,
then they’re the winner. I stress to the other students not to clear
their paper until I’ve announced that the student is a winner. Some of
my students tend to just put on a marker every time I say a word! You
can use edibles markers for this such as Fruit Loops, M&Ms, etc. After
play is finished, then everyone’s a winner and gets to eat their markers.
A picture of this is also on the
Have your students sit in a circle, then have them take turns saying their
name. First go round, they might all whisper their name, then the next
go round, they’d shout their name, then sing, clap the syllables, etc.
There’s a particular type of noodle that is tubular and slick (don’t know
the name of it) that is good for doing this activity. Dye enough raw
pasta for each letter of your students’ names. You dye the pasta by
putting it into a gallon size ziploc bag, adding a capful of rubbing
alcohol, and a few drops of food coloring. Move the bag around until
all the pasta is colored. For a deeper color, let it sit a while.
Then remove and allow to dry on newspaper. Using a Sharpie marker,
write one letter per noodle, until you’ve spelled each student’s name.
Put the noodles for each student in a ziploc bag along with an appropriate
piece of yarn. The yarn should have a small piece of masking tape put
around the end of it to form a “needle” and to keep it from coming
unraveled. Label each bag with the student’s name. The student
will use the noodles to form his/her name on the yarn. Hint: If
you tape the left end of the yarn to the desk/table, it will prevent MANY
mishaps of the noodles sliding off the unused end. Modeling for the
students before having them do theirs is a good idea. They should
understand that the letters have to be put on in the correct order and
facing the correct way (not upside/down). Provide name plates for the
students to use for models as well.
(tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
If your name is on the
plate pick it up.
If your name is on the plate pick it up.
name is on the plate,
Then you’re really doing great.
If your name is
on the plate pick it up.
~ Author Unknown
This song is one of the
very favorite songs/activities of my students. I even like it
(non-musical) because it’s easy to sing and easy for me to remember. I
write each student’s name on a small plate. As we sing the song
standing in a circle, I throw down one plate. Whoever’s name is on the
plate has to pick it up. We sing until all the plates are gone.
Graph the number of letters in each student’s name. Afterwards,
discuss who’s name has the most, who’s has the least, which letters have the
same amount, etc. This is a great activity to do after reading
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.
This activity is good for those students who either don’t know how to write
their name, or for those who need more practice tracing. Fold a sheet
of white paper into thirds vertically. There will be a top flap and a
bottom flap that will fold over the middle section. Open the paper up,
and in the middle section write the student’s name with a broad tipped black
marker. Demonstrate to the students how to fold the top flap down over
their name and trace their name using a pencil or crayon. When
finished, they fold the top flap up, then fold the bottom flap up and over
their name. Again, they trace their name. Afterwards, if needed,
the two flaps they traced their name on can be folded backwards, and it will
form a name plate showing the name written in marker. The students can
then practice copying their name from the name plate onto paper, a slate, or
small dry-erase board.
Name of the Day:
Choose one person’s name per day and write it on the board. Then lead
the students in a cheer each day while pointing to the letters in their
name. One of my K
students did this
adaptation while working one-on-one with her during tutoring using her name.
I said give me an "A"
and she said "A - you got your A, you got your A!" :) I asked
her where she heard this. And she said she was a cheerleader!
This is one of their cheers. So I'm going to add this to the cheer
because it gives them even more practice identifying the letters. And
I think I'm going to add large letter cards to the chant as well, like the
cheerleaders use to use and hold up. So here's the new cheer:
B: give me a B! (B - you got your B, you got your B!)
E: give me an
E! (E - you got your E, you got your E!)
V: give me a V! (V -
you got your V, you got your V!)
What’s that spell?
I think these cheers typed up would be an excellent addition to their poetry
journals. (See more about the poetry journals that we use in our
classroom at Literacy
Lakeshore Catalog has these neat sponge letter paint stampers that are good
for letting your students stamp out their name. You use them with
tempra paint. The downside of them is that the ones that I have are
all capital letters, so it throws some of your students off that only know
how to form their name using mostly lowercase letters.
They can also
use letter stamps and ink pads to form their name.
Another idea is to give them paper letter tiles. They can either glue
them onto another piece of paper in the correct order, or you could have
them laminated and let them keep them in a ziploc bag in their desk for use
during “free time.” If laminating them, I would suggest making them
kind of large so they wouldn't easily get lost. I also provide my
students with an identical name plate so that they can put the letter tiles
directly underneath those on the name plate. Once that’s mastered,
then they began trying without the name plate as a model. We use the
name plate to self-check.
Cut letters out of magazines to form their name. Glue onto paper.
Furnish them a copy of their name written rather large. Instruct them
to keep tracing over their name using different colors to form a rainbow.
Or, you could instruct them to use the 7 colors found in a rainbow, so that
when they’d used all 7 colors they would know that they were through.
(some of my cherubs think that one or two colors constitute a rainbow)
Use magnetic letters to form their name and those of their friends.
Cookie sheets can be used as magnetic boards. (check with a magnet
prior to buying) There are also VERY LARGE oil drip pans that can be
used as a magnetic board. A teacher down the hall from me had one and
she kept hers on an easel for the students to use. I think they cost
less than $10 and you can get them at auto parts places.
Write the Room the Name Way!:
If you use name plates on their desk, you can furnish them with a clipboard
and let them go around the room and copy theirs and their friends’ names
onto the clipboard.
I also purchased playdough stampers from Lakeshore. They come in
capital and lowercase. The students use them to stamp out their name
into the playdough. Some of your students could make “snakes” with the
playdough and form the letters of their name that way. This last
activity causes great difficulty for students for some reason.
This name activity is good for those students who have difficulty forming
their name with playdough “snakes”on their own. Make a mat with their
name on it in big letters; laminate. The students now have a model for
forming their name. They make their “snakes” then form them on top of
Allow the students to use “things” to form their name, such as beans,
cereal, buttons, etc. Allow them to form them freely, or give them a
piece of cardstock or construction paper with their name written on it in
large letters. Let them trace it with glue and add the objects for a tactile
Send home a sheet with your students so that their parents can tell them how
they got their name. Tell the parents that the student will be asked
to share their answer with the class the next day. Have the parents
write the story down on the paper in case the student forgets. You’ll
have a “cheat sheet” to prompt them with. This has always been an
eye-opening activity for me, and it’s one of the most completed homework
assignments. Be sure to share your story as well.
Take each students picture and have it laminated along with an index card
containing their first name. Place the students’ pictures in the
pocketchart and have the students match the names to the pictures.
Later you could make a card containing their last names and have them match
first and last names. You could also make a matching activity where
they match the names as normally written, to the names written in all caps.
Use name cards alone to take attendance. Instead of calling roll, hold
up name cards and have the students answer when they see their name.
A New Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider
Crawled up on ______’s head.
He crawled all
around, then used it for a bed.
He crawled down (his/her) back
jumped down to the floor.
Then the itsy bitsy spider
underneath the door.
This song was another favorite of my students.
It’s another easy to sing and remember song for me as well. We turned
it into a pocketchart activity as well as added it to our Poetry Journals.
For the pocketchart, I wrote up all the lines leaving a blank the size of a
3 x 5 index card where the student’s name went. Then as we sang the
song, I inserted different index cards with a student’s name on the card.
We also talked about when to use “his/her” and why it was written like that.
For the Poetry Journal, I typed it up in a graphics program, then added a
large spider underneath the song. I modeled how to draw their picture,
showing them how to make the spider ON their head, not ABOVE it. (Good
time for a quick mini-lesson for on/above/over). They filled in their
name in the blank or that of a friend.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear Spin Off:
Make a class book as a spin off of Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Instead of
“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? use “______, _______, who do
you see?” Use students’ names in the blanks. Add a picture of
each student to the appropriate page. At the end, have “Teacher,
Teacher, what do you see?” “I see ________, _______, _____, etc.
looking at me!” and list all the students’ names along with their picture.
Provide each student with their name written in all caps down a page (with
horizontal lines) vertically. The students are to copy a classmate’s
name that begins with the corresponding letter in their name beside each
Smelly Name Plates:
Provide each student with a cardboard name plate with their name written in
thick black marker. Have the students trace over the marker with glue,
then sprinkle dry Berry Blue Jello over the glue. After they’re good
and dry, shake off the excess Jello. Hint: Make the names large
enough that the glue doesn’t just run together in a big blob. Of
course, you could always have some real Blue Berry Jello as a follow up
Making New Friends:
Using a graphics program, make a page with 9 activities (or however many you
can get on a page) that children like to do, with 2 lines under each
picture. Some of the graphics could be swimming, playing ball, a dog,
a bike, a book, at the beach, flying a kite, a cat, mountains, etc.
Provide each student with a copy, then have them go around to their new
friends and get them to sign their name under the pictures of the things
that they like to do. Instant ice-breaker and good for name practice
Korky’s Cool Rhyme Machine:
Go to this site, and plug in the name of each of your students and it will
give you a rhyme with their name included. This is a must for your
Names Unit!! Print out each rhyme, then add it to your students’
Poetry Journals. (Each student will only have their own name rhyme.)
With a big group of students, you might want to add one student’s rhyme per
day. Read the rhymes every day and before long, not only will that
child know their name rhyme, but most of the rhymes of the other students as
well. This is an excellent pre-reading activity and wonderful for
increasing both phonemic awareness and memory skills. (Update 11.23.07: As
far as I can tell, Korky's is no longer online. If you find the
website, please share the URL and I'll add it to the page.)
In The Spotlight:
This is an activity that you might want to do in conjunction with the Name
Cheer. Choose one student and have them complete the following
My name is _________.
I am ___ years old.
Put this onto a chart, then read it several
times with your students. By using the same sentence frame every day,
it turns into a predicable chart and they’ll soon start to recognize those
words. (Be sure to track along with a pointer as you read it with your
Have each student draw a picture of the “spotlight”
student and write their name below it. Compile all the pictures and
type or write up the 3 sentences. These can be put together as a
personal book for each student and can go into their Book Boxes. (more
info on Book Boxes on the Literacy Connections pages)
Alternative Attendance Idea:
Keep an attendance sheet in an easily accessible place and have your
students sign in each morning to let you know that they’re present.
Question of the Day:
As they sign in each morning, you could have them answer a “Question of the
Day.” This would be a yes/no question written on a T-graph. To
indicate their answer, they’d write their name under “yes” or “no”.
(The question goes across the top of the T, and “yes” is on one side, and
“no” is on the other.) Ex.: Do you like milk?
Another tracing idea is to have your students trace over their “dotted”
name. Start with first name only, then after they’ve mastered writing
it, add their last name. Instead of sitting for a very long time and
“dotting out” every one’s name for a master page, you can use software that
is downloadable for free off the Internet. The name of the font is:
Zyia Learns Letters It’s available at The Teacher’s Parking Lot and
also at Billy Bear’s Playground. I used it last year for some of my
students and it works well and saves you so much time. The main thing
that you need to remember (took me a while to figure this out) is that once
you download it, unzip it, and move it into your fonts folder, you still
need to know how to make it LARGE! Those students who need to use it
normally need to start out BIG! So I made sure that the student’s name
covered across the whole page (vertical for names with 5 letters or so, and
horizontal for long names) To make it BIG, go to the font size on the
tool bar of your word processing software (Microsoft Word/Microsoft Works,
etc). If you click on that little arrow and scroll down, it will only
go to size 72 font. You need BIGGER! So, click inside the box
where the number is, erase what’s there, and type in bigger numbers until
you get the size that you need. I can’t remember exactly how big I had
to make them, but I think it was over 100. If you keep each student’s
name on a disc or saved to your hard drive, when you want to add their last
name, you just have to pull up their page, change what needs to be changed
Another Tracing Activity:
Use the software mentioned above and print out each student’s name.
Mount onto a sentence strip, index card, cardstock, or construction paper;
laminate. The student can use these to practice tracing their name
over and over using a Vis-a-Via pen.
Provide the students with felt letters and let them form their name on the
flannelboard. This can also be turned into a file folder activity by
gluing a piece of flannel onto the front of a file folder. Tape a
ziploc bag inside the file folder using packing tape. Keep the felt
letters in the bag.
Writing in the Sand:
Provide the students with a shallow box or pan containing sand. The
students can practice writing their name in the sand providing them with
another sensory integration activity.
Cut letters from sandpaper, glue onto cardstock. Allow students to use
these letters to form their name; then using their index finger and their
middle finger, trace over and say each letter. The use of two fingers
provides more motor control and sensory integration.
Name in Glue:
This activity is similar to the one above, but you do the student’s name in
colored glue. Using a thick line of glue, trace over a student’s name
that’s been written on cardboard or something stiff. Let dry for
several days. The student can trace each letter using the two finger
method and say each letter.
Dot each student’s name onto a sentence strip; laminate. The students
can use these day after day, tracing their name with a Vis-a-Via pen. Once
they’ve mastered their name, they can use the back side to practice writing
or copying their name if you’ve used two sided sentence strips.
Provide the students with alphabet stickers and let them use them to form
their name on something personal such as their Poetry Journal, etc.
If you have room for a clothesline in your classroom, or even if you don’t,
you can have your students form their name by hanging the letters in the
correct order on the line. Buy colored index cards and print the
appropriate letters (one per card) for the names of your students on the
card vertically. Don’t forget the capital letters for the first letter
of their names. For those students who need assistance, provide a cheat
sheet card with their name for them to look at. They can hold the card
in their hand for assistance, or hang it on the clothesline first as a
model. For those students who have no problem with forming their name,
provide them with a list of names of the students in the class and have them
work on forming the names of their classmates. This is a good activity
for letter sequencing and letter discrimination.
teachers who do not have room for a clothesline, if you have a wall with
about 3 ft. of space available at “kid level”, then you have room for a
clothesline! I made a mini - clothesline on my wall for my students to
on this day it has a math activity on it) You can also use the Ellison
machine to cut out articles of clothing and write a letter for each
student’s name on it, and let them hang out the wash! I know Ellison
has a t-shirt and a sock die. You can also do like I did in the
picture and find a clothing shaped notepad, program each page, and laminate.
You might want to do this activity in conjunction with the Name Cheer as
well. Choose one student’s name per day to form using the students in
the classroom. Issue each student needed to participate, a card or
necklace with a large letter of the chosen student’s name. For example
for Alex: four students; one with capital A, one with l, one with e, one
with x. Instead of writing the name cheer on a chart, you could say,
“Give me an A” and the “A” child could step forward. Continue until
everyone has stepped forward.
Make Bingo cards using your students’ names. Here’s a site where you
can make Bingo cards online to print. Print on cardstock for better
durability. Laminate if you intend to use them all year.
Personal Educational Press
This activity is fun for the students and really gets them engaged, however
it is a lot of work, especially if you have a large class. AND, you
also need LOTS of colors of construction paper and an Ellison machine.
Choose one color of construction paper for each of your students. The
colors can not be duplicated unless you divide your class into 2 groups and
make 2 separate activities (or however many groups you want).
For example, Sarah’s color is purple. Use the Ellison machine to cut
out each letter of Sarah’s name from the purple paper (including 2 lowercase
As, not just one). Glue each letter onto a 3 x 5 index card,
Continue this until you have completed
everyone’s name in the class. Provide the students with a master list
of names. The students sort the letters by color. Then use the
letters to form each student’s name. (For example, all Sarah’s letters
will be purple, all Alex’s letters will be yellow, etc. There will be
no mixing of colors within the name) When finished, they’ll have a
rainbow of colorful names!
To make the activity even more difficult,
ALLOW the mixing of colors within the names.
Have your students write their name 3 times on a piece of white construction
paper. For some, you might want to have them trace over where you’ve
written it very lightly. When they’re finished, have them watercolor
over the whole page. The watercolor will adhere to the paper, but the
crayon markings. The kids will think it’s magic!
Yet Another Tracing Activity:
Use a yellow or light green highlighter or marker to write the students name
on paper several times. Use an orange marker to put a dot at the
“start” of each letter letting the student know where they should place
their pencil to begin forming the letter. Have the student trace over
their highlighted name starting at each orange dot.
I also use the orange dot method in conjunction with the “dotted” print
For some students who have difficulties writing their name within the lines
provided on tablet paper due to developmental or visual perception
difficulties, you can highlight the top line with one color and highlight
the bottom line with another color. Then when you’re instructing your
students to write their name, you can tell them to start at the “green” line
and come down to the “orange” line. Or, to write their name BETWEEN the
green and the orange line. To make this even easier, Frog Street Press
now publishes colored line writing paper. They use a blue top line for
the “sky”, and place a tiny cloud at the beginning of the line. Then
the dashed/middle line is red, and the bottom line is green for the “grass”.
They place a tiny flower at the beginning of the green line. When
using this paper, you instruct your students to start at the “sky” and pull
down to the “grass/ground”.
Silly Name Song
(tune: Zippety Do Dah)
Zippety zoo zah, zippety zay
My oh my what
a silly day.
Zippety zoo zah, zippety zay
Billy sing this song in a
Bippety boo bah, bippety bay
My oh my what a silly day
Bippety boo bah, bippety bay
Sarah sing this song in a silly way.
Sippety soo sah, sippety say.....
Sand Art Name Plates:
On cardboard or stiff paper, write or have each student trace their name
with glue. Sprinkle colored sand over the glue. Allow to dry.
Colored sand can be bought or you can dye your own. To dye your own,
place a cup or two of sand in a gallon ziploc bag. Add a few drops of
food coloring. Zip the bag shut and move the sand around in the bag
until all the sand is dyed. You can save left over sand for another
project or add it to your sand table.
Provide each student with their name printed “coloring book style” on a
sheet of cardstock. (This can be done using some graphics programs
such as Print Artist) Send them home with each student along with a
note to their parents to help them decorate their name and send it back to
school. Encourage them to be creative. You might want to have
your name already done as a model for them to look at before attempting
theirs. Display the decorated names on a bulletin board covered with
birthday wrapping paper and the caption: My first gift from my parents
… Affix a bow in the corner of each student’s paper, similar to a
This is a good bulletin board to use if you’re using the book Chrysanthemum
by Kevin Henkes. Cut out large flower petals and write each student’s
name on one with a black permanent marker. Have the students paint the
petal. Assemble all the petals together to form a large flower on your
This activity also goes with the book, Chrysanthemum. Make a
predictable chart using large chart paper. List each student’s name on
a line with a colon behind it. Beside each student’s name, write the
sentence frame: I wish my name was _________. Have each student
dictate their answer. Read over the chart daily. This is a great
pre-reading activity as well as teaching name recognition, sight words, and
one-to-one correspondence. Make sure that you track along with a
pointer as the students read the chart aloud. Leave up in the room as
a Read the Room activity.
Puffy Paint Name Plates:
Mix the puffy paint according to the recipe below. Have your students
trace over their name written on heavy cardboard or mat board.
Puffy Paint Recipe.
equal parts of:
salt, flour, water
each is a good starting recipe)
Mix well. Add liquid or powdered tempera
paint (or any paint) to this
mixture if desired.
Put in squeeze
bottles from mustard or shampoo.
Squeeze mixture from the bottle
while printing or writing the name.
Write each student’s name on a sheet of white construction paper using a
white crayon. Trace over it several times to make the crayon “thick”.
On the back of each page, write the student’s name very small in pencil.
Make up a story having something to do with “magic”, then have the students
paint their piece of paper using watercolors or thin tempra paint.
Then they’ll see some “magic” of their own. Their name will magically
appear on the page!
Using different color construction paper and the Ellison machine, cut out
the letters of each student’s name. Put each student’s letters in a
ziploc bag to keep them separate. Label the bag with their name.
Provide them with an appropriate length, vertical strip of paper to glue
their letters onto to form their name. (Sentence strips might work
well for this.) Hang these from the ceiling using fishing line and
plastic clothespins. Tie the fishing line to the clothespin using the
hole provided in the clothespin. Then just clip the mobile to the
clothespin. If you’d like, you can make two holes at the top end of
the mobile and add a loop of yarn to hang them from.
Use the Ellison machine to cut out enough shapes for each letter of each
student’s name. Program each shape with a letter of their name and
place in a ziploc bag labeled with their name. Tie enough lengths of
yarn onto a wire clothes hanger for each letter in the student’s name.
Vary the lengths of the yarn. Have each student tape the opposite end
of the yarn to the back of the letters in the appropriate order to form
their name. This might be an activity best done in a Center or small
These poems would work well as pocketchart activities. Have students’
names on index cards and insert them into the blanks.
at the moon.
_______ looked at the stars.
________got in a rocket
And went to Mars!
On the tree
Some for _________
And some for me!
1, 2, 3, 4
______'s sitting on the floor,
Eating _________ on a plate!
Too Cool! :
You can use Crayola Overwriter Markers to teach students how to write their
name. You write the student’s name with the Underwriter, and the
student traces it with the Overwriter. As the student traces with the
Overwriter, the Underwriter changes color!
Each student will complete their own name book. Each book with have a
page corresponding to each letter in their name. Ex. Alan: will
have 4 pages in his book. On each page of the book will be a letter of
their name in the correct order. The student will complete the book by
adding a picture to each page that begins with the letter sound. Ex.
Alan’s book will look like this:
pg 1 ~ A: alligator
pg 2 ~ l: lamp
pg 3 ~ a: apple
pg 4 ~ n: nickel
“Roll the Ball” Name Game:
Have all students sit in the floor in a circle. Have one student say
their name and roll the ball across the circle to another student.
That student will say their name and roll it to another student. After
everyone’s had a turn, have the student with the ball say a classmate’s name
and roll it to that classmate. Continue until the children lose
Using the Ellison machine, cut out a train car for each student from
assorted color construction paper along with a black engine and a red
caboose. As a student learns to write their first name, write their
name on a train car and the word “first” on the front wheel of the car.
Display the train car behind the engine and add the caboose. When the
student has mastered writing their first and last name, write the word
“last” on the second wheel of their train car. This indicates that the
student has mastered writing both their first and last name. As the
students begin to master writing their names, keep adding to the train until
all train cars have been added.
Another Name Train:
Using the Ellison machine, cut out one train engine, one caboose, and enough
train cars for the number of letters in each student’s name. Program
each train car with a letter in the student’s name. Place all pieces
in a ziploc bag labeled with the student’s name. Distribute the bags
to each student along with an appropriate length of adding machine tape.
Model for the students how to draw a railroad track on their tape with a
black crayon and how to glue their train on to the track. (This is crucial
for some students or you will have the tops or middle of the train cars
glued to the track. Left on their own, some students will start their
train from the right side, therefore forming their name backwards OR,
they’ll start their train in the middle of the paper and not have enough
room to place their whole name on the track. THEIR solution for this
will be to place the unused letters in front on the train. Beware!)
After they’ve drawn their track, have them glue their train onto the track.
Watch closely for those who need help.
Graph students’ names by beginning letters. Have each student write
their name on an index card. You can either have a graph showing just
the letters that are needed for the beginning letters of the names in your
class, or one showing all 26 letters. Use the actual cards and tape or
glue them to the graph in the appropriate place.
Nonstandard Measurement and Graphing Activity:
Give each student their name written on a sentence strip or piece of adding
machine tape. Provide the class with enough of the same manipulatives
that everyone can measure the length of their name using a nonstandard
measurement. For example, they would measure their name using counting
bears, beans, Fruit Loops, paperclips, buttons, etc. (Unless you want
to have to deal with halves, keep the measuring instruments small)
After everyone has measured how long their name is, help them to write their
answer down on a piece of paper. Use the measurements to graph the
length of everyone’s name.
Write each student’s name on an index card with a marker; laminate.
Have the students alphabetize the names by first letter. This is a
good activity to do on the floor so that the student has plenty of room to
Print each student’s name in large letters on construction paper. Have
them place their paper over a piece of corrugated cardboard. Provide
them with a pushpin and have them “trace” their name by pushing the pin into
the paper. These can be displayed in a window where the light will shine
through the pin holes.
Cut posterboard into whatever shape and size you’d like each students name
puzzle to be. Decorate each puzzle with their name and hearts,
flowers, ladybugs, etc.
Cut the puzzles into pieces and place in a ziploc
bag labeled with the students name. This might be a good first
day/week of school activity for when the students come in to class.
This would be a good Center activity. Provide each students with an
appropriate length of cord and alphabet beads that can be purchased at
Wal-Mart or a craft store. The students will string the appropriate
beads onto their necklace in the appropriate order. As with the noodle
necklace, tape the left end of the cord onto the table to keep the beads
from sliding off. Some students might need a name plate to use as a
model and some might need to be given only the beads that they’d need to
form their name instead of having access to a whole bowl of beads.
Make a sentence strip for each student’s name with the following sentence
frame and their name inserted into the blank: “Hi!” says _____.
Have the students match the sentence strip to the appropriate classmates’
Have each student bring in an edible “snack” that begins with the same
letter as their name. For example, Andrew could bring enough sliced
“apples” for the class to share. Bethany could bring “bananas”.
Take a picture of each student along with the food that they brought.
These could be compiled into a book using the sentence frame: _______
brought _______. Each student would have a picture with their picture
on it and the completed sentence frame. If you have doubles made of
the pictures, you can also create a phonics activity as well. Program
a card with the beginning letter of each student’s name and laminate it
along with all the pictures. The students match the pictures to the
Write the completed sentence frames on
sentence strips and the students can match the correct sentence strips to
the pictures. OR, they can match the pictures to laminated name cards!
Names That Are a Snap! :
Some teachers may have a problem with this activity, but I do not.
Using a black Sharpie marker, write each letter of each student’s name onto
a Unifix cube. (Eventually it will wear off, or you can probably take
it off with hairspray or some type of cleaner.) Have the students snap
together the appropriate Unifix cubes to form their names and the names of
their classmates. Provide them with a master list of names to use for
Pockets of Names:
Purchase enough “library pockets” for each beginning letter of your
students’ names or one for each letter of the alphabet. Stick them
onto a piece of colored posterboard and program each pocket with a letter.
Laminate the board, then slit the pocket back open with the sharp point of a
pair of scissors or a straight edge razor. Either purchase “library
cards” to fit in the pockets or make your own cards. Program each card
with a student’s name; laminate. The students will sort the names by
the beginning letter into the correct pocket.
I have a friend named ______.
I have a friend named ______.
(Teacher or student points to each letter of the name as the
class spells it)
Can you spell it?
(Repeat letter pointing)
a friend named ______.
Make two gender mats and name cards for each student. For younger
students one mat can have a picture of a boy, and the other mat a picture of
a girl. For older students, you can use the words "boys" and "girls"
on the the mats. Have your students sort the name cards according to
This is a picture of our mats. The illustrator was my TA. :)
Instead of lining your students up by rows, tables, or groups, pull
a name out of a hat! (If you don’t happen to have a top hat,
use something you do have handy) If you do happen to have top
hat, cut out enough white rabbits using the Ellison machine for your
students, label each with a name and laminate. Put them all in
the hat, then to dismiss the students, pull a name out of the hat
and hold it up for the class to see. The person who’s name is
on the rabbit gets to line up first. Continue until everyone
has been dismissed.
Prepare a place card for each of your students. A piece of
construction paper or cardstock with the student’s name written on
one or both sides will do. Fold the place card in half, with
the student’s name showing. This will make it stand up.
Have a student distribute the place cards on the tables before snack
time. The students then find their name and seat in the
designated spot. Laminate these and a substitute teacher would
love to have access to them when you’re out sick!
Purchase two different color index cards. Write each student’s
name once on each color card; laminate. The students match the
cards. If you don’t have colored index cards, you can use two
different colors of ink.
Cut the letters of each student’s name out on assorted bold colors
of construction paper using the Ellison machine. Place the
letters for each student’s name in a ziploc bag labeled with their
name. Distribute the bags and provide the students with a
black strip of construction paper to glue the letters onto to form
their name. Model how to glue their name on prior to
distributing the materials. Display in the classroom.
Have each student create their own name rhyme using the pattern of:
A my name is Annie,
And my friend’s name is Andrew.
We live in
And we like apples.
For ex. Carla’s rhyme could
C my name is Carla,
And my friend’s name is Casey.
We live in California,
And we like candy.
These could be
compiled into a class book.
Growl your name
Howl your name
Stretch it till it’s long
Chant your name
Pant your name
Sing it like a song
Snap your name
Announce it loud and clear
Yell your name
Tell the world you’re here.
Alphabet Name Game:
Write a letter for each letter of the alphabet on a 5 x 7 card.
Sing the following song and have the students stand when
appropriate. (You could also just sing the song while pointing
at an ABC chart)
(tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)
If your name begins with ___,
begins with ___, begins with ___,
If your name begins with ___, stand up please.
~ Author Unknown
Glad to See You:
(tune: Frere Jacques)
I’m Mrs. _____, I’m
That’s my name, that’s my name.
I’m so glad to
I’m very glad to see you,
What’s your name?
What’s your name?
(teacher points at student, student says his
Welcome _____, welcome _____.
like your name. I like your name.
We’re so glad to see you.
We’re so glad to see you,
At school today, at school today.
I am _____, I am _____,
That’s my name, that’s my
I’m so glad to see you,
I’m so glad to see you,
What’s your name? What’s your name?
~ Author Unknown
(tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)
My friend has a green shirt
a green shirt on, a green shirt on.
My friend has a green
Can you find my friend?
(students then identify the
friend by name)
(tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
If your name is
(child’s name), clap your hands.
If your name is (child’s name),
clap your hands.
If your name is (child’s name),
If your name
is (child’s name),
If your name is (child’s name), clap your
You can either sing this song and hold up a student’s
name on a card, or put it into a pocketchart and insert the cards
into the pockets.
You can also change the motions to:
stomp your feet
snap your fingers
do all three
jump up and down
Where is (child's name)? Where is ___?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you today, ___? (shakes student's hand)
Very well, I thank you.
Run away, run and play. (student runs back to seat )
Round is a circle,
Round is a game,
Tell me your name!
As you're saying this, make a circle with
your hand, then point to a student.
Fold a sheet of construction paper in half verically for each
student. For students with more than 6 or so letters in their
name, you'll need a larger than normal size of construction paper.
Turn the paper towards your body horizontally with the fold at the
top. Section the paper off into however many letters are in
the student's name. For example, Cindy: I would have the
top flap of the paper sectioned off into 5 sections. Once
you've sectioned off the TOP FLAP into however many sections you
need, cut the TOP FLAP ONLY into sections, making sure to stop at
the fold. I would now have 5 separate flaps on the top and a
solid piece on the bottom. Write one letter per section of the
student's name on the top flaps. Provide enough small size
pictures that the students can glue a picture under each flap that
begins with that letter. To make my pictures, I used a
graphics program. I sectioned off my paper into the size grids
that I needed, then made sure that I had at least one picture for
every letter of the alphabet. Because some students will need
more than one picture for some letters, you'll need to run extra
copies. I always model this activity for my
students using my own name before turning it over to them. My
name would be like this.
Some students will need to be provided only the
pictures that they'll need for their own name and you'll probably
have to model for them using their name. Afterwards, give them
the opportunity to complete the assignment on their own.
You'll be surprised at what some of them learn/remember.
What’s In Your Name?
Kevin Henkes from Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site
Behind the Name
visitors since 11.11.03
last updated 11.23.07