As we head into this odd school year, I know a lot of us have names on the brain. A common first-month-of-school lesson is all about names. Talking about names in an inclusive way is a great way to build a warm and welcoming environment!
For my own Kindergarten classroom, we will be doing this by focusing on how to write their names neatly. I already have my Seesaw activities lined up, but then I realized that this would be a great moment to pull in a diverse book. While researching picture books for this, I also published Colorful Pages’s “Move Beyond ‘Chrysanthemum’: Diverse Books About Names”. I am so excited because many educators have already accessed this resource. However, many were wanting more!
Considering this, I wrote this lesson plan and expanded it for students in PreK, Grade K, and Grade 1. The lesson is centered around the idea of “Claim Your Name” to empower students! To help students claim their names, teachers will show them an example using Alma and How She Got Her Name, conduct a community circle to practice name pronunciation, and end with a name writing activity. I hope that educators and parents find this free resource helpful in our journey to build up our students and community!
Alma and How She Got Her Name, by Juana Martinez-Neal
The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Exploration
Age Range: 4-8 years old
Juana Martinez-Neal writes and illustrates this heartwarming picture book. In Alma and How She Got Her Name, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has six names that she is determined to find out more about. While complaining that her long name never fits, her father sits Alma down and tells her the stories behind each of her names. Alma realizes her name is actually the perfect fit!
Lesson Plan & Materials
With this lesson, students will begin to feel empowered in their name and practice how to write their name. The class will first talk about the importance of names and read Alma and How She Got Her Name. Then, students will have a chance to “claim their name” and their classmates will practice greeting the student by their preferred and correctly pronounced name. Lastly, students will practice how to write their name (with teacher support depending on the age).
We would love for you to use the resources here while also using your knowledge of your students/kids to meet their needs during this time. Feel free to change up the activities in our lesson plan/directions. Check out the following free resources we have created:
I would LOVE to see pictures of your kiddos’ “Claim My Name” Worksheets or any other photos of learning happening! Please tag us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using @ColorfulPagesOrg or email us your photos at firstname.lastname@example.org. It always warms my heart when I see people using our resources and furthering students’ access to diverse books!