What Is Your Name?

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SWBAT identify the title and author of the book and participate in a first read of the story. SWBAT build name recognition of their classmates.

Big Idea

What's your name? Each of us has a name and our names make us special.

Prepare the Learner

10 minutes

Preview Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

This is the third lesson is a series of twenty.

I say: Today we are going to read a book about a girl who has a very special name.  Her name is Chrysanthemum.    Point to the title on the cover and tell the students that Chrysanthemum is also the title of the book.  I ask: What is the title of the book?  Everybody say "Chrysanthemum."  Students repeat.

Point to the author’s name and tell the students that this is the name of the person who wrote the words in the book.  I say: The author writes the words in the book that tell us the story.  The author’s name is usually on the front cover and the author of this book is Kevin Henkes.   I check for understanding:  What does the author do?  What is his job? 

Interact with the text/concept

45 minutes

Browse the Book

I begin by taking the kids on a picture walk through the book.  This is done with no talking, just examining the pictures.  I say: We are going to 'walk' through the book and look at the pictures before we read.  As we do, I want you to NOTICE what is happening in the picture.  I want you to THINK about what the picture is telling us.

As I turn the pages slowly, I exaggerate facial expressions so kids SEE how we notice specifics about pictures and that we think about them.  Use facial expressions that show the  ‘wonder’ and ‘acknowledgement of information’ that the pictures bring that draw us into the story by pointing at certain details within the picture and raising my eyebrows.


Unencumbered Read-1st Read

This first read of Chrysanthemum is, for the most part,  unencumbered.  Because most of my kids speak little to no English in the beginning of the year, I do stop periodically to check for understanding.  Because we will be examining the text more deeply in subsequent lessons, I only make brief stops.  Primarily, students are listening for understanding of the main idea and basic events.  



What is your name? My name is __  

My students often struggle with the question/answer process and need direct instruction and practice with it.  This is especially so for second language learners.  Common Core directly addresses the question/answer process in relation to literature and in speaking and listening, so laying the foundation with their names is a great place to start!

I ask: Boys and girls, what do we ask someone if we want to know what their name is?    If students do not respond with an appropriate question, suggest “What is your name?”    

I ask:  Now, how would we respond to that question?  What would your answer be to that question?  Turn and tell a partner what your answer would be.   I give students a minute to discuss with their partner.  I call a student up to share and model. 

I ask that student: What is your name?  They reply: “My name is __.”  If the student does not respond with a complete sentence, I have them echo me.  I prompt: Say "My name" (student repeats)  "is" (student repeats) Lupita. (student repeats)   I encourage the student to ask me what my name is and then I respond with my name!

I conclude: We will be practice asking and answering questions about our names again tomorrow.  Don't forget how to answer in a complete sentence!


Extend Understanding

20 minutes

Name songs


We practice learning each other's names by using this song.  You can watch the video with your students to practice the song, or you can just use this as  reference for you to teach the song!

As they learn each other's names and are fluent with the song, it can be done with the whole class, but I start by doing this with just half of my class during their early bird/late bird time slot.

I explain and set purpose: Our names are very important.  As we learned in Chrysanthemum, our name tells a lot about who we are.  So we need to learn each other's names because we are spending the whole year together and we need to know who we are!  I want you to listen to a song that we are going to sing throughout the next few weeks to help us learn our classmate's names!


After we watch the video,  I say: Now let's try it with just a few of our students.  Let's sit in a circle so we can all see each other.  We sit in a circle on our carpet and try the song with just 3-4 students for today.