Today I will be engaging my students in a class discussion about their names. It is important that each student can recognize their name and know that it contains upper case and lower case letters. We will write a class annotation of the story by each student writing the sentence _____ my name is _____.
My class is seated on the carpet ready for our reading lesson.
"Good morning my friends. We are all new to this class and are learning each other's name. You all have such beautiful names. When I learn your names, I have to see your face and see your name together. I can learn your name by looking at the letters that are in your name. Let's take Linda's name. I see an upper case L, that means the letter is big."
I hold up a letter card that has both uppercase and lower case letters on it.
"Each letter has a big letter and a little letter. We call the big letter an uppercase letter. Can you say that with me? Uppercase letter. Good. We call the little letters lowercase letters. Can you say that with me? Lowercase letter. Good. So, if her first letter L is an uppercase letter what do we call these little letters i-n-d-a? Lower case letters. Yay! That's right. We all have uppercase and lower case letters in our name. We always write the first letter in our name as an uppercase letter to show that we are important. All names are important, so they all begin with an uppercase letter."
"I have a fun book about names that I want to read to you today. This book has fun friends with fun names. The book's title is; From Ann to Zach . When I read a story, we always sit criss cross apple sauce, hands in our lap, bubble in our mouth and eyes on the story. Ready?"
I begin to read the book and emphasize the the letter and the name.
"Do you see what I see? The story is telling me the first letter of all the children's names. The first letter is a big letter. What do we call a big letter? Yes, we call it an uppercase letter. I like how the sentences have a rhythm as I read. Let's read some more names."
I continue to read this story.
"This is a fun book. I like the names of all the children. Each child said the first letter in their name and then said their name. A my name is Ann. That is a fun sentence. Let's see if we can write the same sentences for all of your names."
"Let's use a predictable chart to write down all our sentences. I love to use a predictable chart. All the sentences use the same sentence frame and each one of you gets to put your own letter and name in the sentence. This will be fun."
I draw name sticks to choose students to stand up and help me with the sentence frame. I use the sentence frame; ______ my name is ______ . As each student comes up to the chart, he has to tell me his name and what the first letter is. I write it and we all read it together.
"We need to remember to make the first letter in the sentence and the first letter in our name an uppercase letter. What is an uppercase letter? Is it a big letter or a small letter? Yes, it is a big letter."
I continue to call up the students to fill in their blanks then we all point to the words in the sentence and read the sentence together. Using a predictable chart helps my students learn the sentence and the sentence structure. My ELL students need multiple opportunities to hear English spoken and to speak it. This activity is great for them.
When all the students have dictated their sentences to me, I model the annotation of Anne to Zach under the document camera. I show them that I am using the same sentence frame as we used on the predictable chart, I am just transferring the information from the chart to the writing paper. I model writing the first letter using uppercase and then writing the full name. I also model drawing a picture of themselves.
I call them a row at a time to get their pencil boxes out of their cubbies and sit at their tables. I then demonstrate how the job of passing out the papers is done to my two paper passers. I walk around and help those who need help. Several students can not write their name so I use a yellow highlighter to write their name so they can trace it.
When they are finished writing and drawing, I have them sit back on the carpet for the reading of their sentences.
Each student is given the opportunity to come up and read their papers. Because this is one of the first time they have done this activity, I have them stand by me at the front of the class. I put my arm around them and point to the words as I read their sentence. I have them repeat the process. It is difficult for an ELL student to stand up and speak in English in front of the whole class. I begin early in the year and do it every day. As their confidence in listening/speaking, reading/writing become more proficient, their confidence increases. By the middle of the year many students will be at ease with this activity.
We hang our first writing papers on the Class Bulletin Board in the hall for everyone to see.
I like to re-enforce the skills I have just taught by having my students watch a video. My ELL students enjoy watching videos. Videos help with vocabulary as well as ELA skills. I show review videos at the end of the day when we are all ready to go home. This video is of another class and their annotation of the story.