Picture books, Notability with pictures, inch tiles, Legos, games and paint?? Who knew there were so many ways to practice writing, reading and CELEBRATING our names? Well, Rm. 202 kiddos knew, because they’ve been doing loads of things with names lately!
As we continued our study, I shared another great book from the unit Mrs. Wessel shared with me:
This is a great story for many reasons. It’s a story about a refugee family, where the little boy is struggling with fitting in, and many keep mispronouncing his name. He feels like he’s “lost his name in America.” He comes up with a great idea for how to help his classmates (and teacher!) learn his name, and it includes pictures. I also love this book because it features main characters of color. We’ve been talking about (and reading!) books in our room lately with African-American characters and authors (as well as some that are of other backgrounds), and how important it is that kiddos see themselves in the books they read!
Well, along with reading this gem of a book, we send kiddos home with a little job to do. It’s a suggestion from the What’s in a Name unitWhat’s in a Name unit that was shared with me, and was too good not to try.
The sheet asked families to share their stories about the origins of student names, any family connections, info about meaning and nicknames, as well as what the kiddos thought were interesting about their names. What fun it was to go around the circle and share personal stories about kiddos’ names, and watch their faces light up as we talked about THEM and THEIR special details. We heard about things we never would have learned without this activity, and I think in many ways the special thoughts (and giggles) we shared here will continue to help weave us together as the beautiful quilt we will become. All different and unique, from different places and made of different cloths, but tightly stitched together with respect, experience and love. 🙂
After we shared the book and some stories, kiddos got busy creating art like Sangoel did (his name is pronounced Sun-goal, by the way). I gave each kiddo a slip of paper with their name written on it and they were to use a variety of mediums to create a colorful representation of themselves. Many chose to use what they had learned about the meanings of their names (Aadish means “sun,” Allie means “nobility” and Ayonna means “beautiful flower,” for instance), and others just added their favorite colors and patterns or images of things they like. Regardless of their choices, we will add this to the collection of beautiful things in our room that remind us of who we are and how special each one of us is. 🙂 Plus they look pretty great hanging in the hall right now. I LOVE our bulletin board out there!