Parts of a Name

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Students will be able to segment and count the number of syllables they hear in their name.

Big Idea

Students work on building syllable segmenting skills using a word that is familiar to them - in this case their name!


10 minutes

Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.

In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.” By saying walking feet I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.

Once the students are on the rug I ask them to stand and make sure they have “washing machine” space between them and the person on the next spot. If not, they are allowed to move to a spot where they will have more room.

Now I turn on the song “Tony Chestnut” sung by The Learning Station. I like this song because it has actions to go along with the simple names. This helps the students get their wiggles out before they have to sit through a lesson. The song also has a variety of names that provides ample opportunity to practice syllables. 

Once the song is over I have the students take a seat on the rug by singing: the "Spot on your Dot" song. 



35 minutes

Now I show the students the book which we are about to read. I tell the students, “The title of this book is called Tiki Tiki Tembo. It is written by Arlene Mosel which means she wrote the words and that makes her the author of the story. It was illustrated by Blair Lent which means she drew the pictures which makes her the illustrator.”

“This book is about a two little boys and one of the boys has a very long name. Who in this classroom has a very long name?”

I take responses from the students who think they have long names. I have the student tell me his or her name and how many letters it has.

“The other little boy has a very short name. Who in this classroom has a short name?”

Repeat same process as above.

“Thank you for sharing your names with me. Let us see what happens to the boys in this story all because of their names.”


I read the story to the students. As the students become familiar with Tiki tiki tembo no sa rembo chari bari ruche pip peri pembo’s name, I encourage them to say it along with me. I make it into a bouncy rhythm to make it easier for them to remember and so we can have fun with it.

Whilst reading I ask the students to predict what they think will happen when the boys are playing on the well.


Once the book is over I ask the students’ if they know what a syllable is. “Who knows what a syllable is?”

Most of the time I do not get any responses.

“Well a syllable is a part of a word. Syllables make up a word. For example, /cat/ has one syllable, but all/i/ga/tor has four. Let’s watch a short video on the SMARTBoard to see how we can check for syllables.”

I show the students the previously loaded youtube clip -   Syllable Lesson

When the clip is over I ask the students to focus back on me and let them know that we are going to practice a few words together as a group.

“First let’s try clapping a few words. Get your hands ready by putting them out in front of you in the open position. I will say the word and then we will say it together as a group clapping our hands as we say the word. After we clap out the word we will call out how many times we clapped which will tell us how many syllables the word is made up of. Ready?”

Next I proceed to say a variety of words from the story – well, rice, ladder, mountain,

“Good. Now let’s try robot speak. . I will say the word and then we will say it together like a robot. After we say the word we will call out how many syllables we heard.”

Next I proceed to say a variety of words from the story – stream, old, inside, listen, 

“Great work team. Finally let’s try the last technique, putting our hand under our chin. I will say a word and then we will say it together. Each time our hand drops down is a syllable. After we have said the word as a group call out how many times your hand went down and that will tell us how many syllables were in the word. Ready?”

Next I proceed to say a variety of words from the story – man, Chang, Mother, Tiki tiki tembo no sar rembo chari bari ruche pip pari pembo (saying this name usually makes the students laugh)

Now I praise the students for their efforts and I ask them to think about the technique they found the easiest to use.

I tell the students that I am going to use the fair sticks to select the order in which I will have the students tell me their preferred method. Occasionally I will ask a student why they liked that method.  


The Importance of Syllables

After students understand that sentences are made of words and words are different lengths, the next important concept for students to understand is that words are divided into syllables, or word parts. Syllable awareness is one component of phonological awareness. Students gain the ability to hear phonemes that comprise words and to explore speech sounds as syllables.


10 minutes

To close out this lesson I tell the students that their ticket to get their snack today will be to tell me the number of syllables in their name.

"Room 203 students today your exit ticket to get your snack is to tell me the number of syllables you have in your name. You can use whichever method you like to show me how you got that number."

If a students has difficulty providing the number of syllables in their name they can do one of two things:

(a) ask a friend for help, or 

(b) wait until everyone has gone from the rug area and we will work on coming up with the syllables together. 

I use the Fair Sticks to determine the order of the students. 

Once a students has given me the number and also a method they can use the hand sanitizer and go to get their snack. 


5 minutes

I call the students over to see me one at a time during a busy time such as integrated work stations or free choice center time.

I show the student a few pictures of a variety items on the Syllable Assessment. I ask the student to say what the item is and tell me how many syllables are in the items name.

I take note of what the student says and place a copy of the results in the student’s portfolio. 


A good site I recommend to the students families is: Learning Games for Kids