Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Wednesday Word Work: What's in a Name?

Their story that we need to unfold!
I want to embrace my new students'name and honor their history. I am constantly shocked when I inquire: what do you know about your first and last name? There is silence in the classroom....

I notice unique names and take photos throughout the summer to share at the beginning of the school year. What a fun way for my students to learn about me and instantly they know that I embrace vocabulary. I found the image above on Twitter, and it grabbed me. I loved the idea of summer ABC photos and started thinking about a new visual "Get to Know You" activity. What if each student made an acrostic poem with their name but instead of writing they chose pictures that show about their life? Photos could include: a vacation, favorite activity, their family or even a pet. Or it could be as simple as the letter S for a soccer ball. Learners could choose their presentation tool which would open conversations and probably questions especially with technology. Let's face it by the time they get to fifth grade, do they really want to create another "All About ME" poster?

If you haven't ever read this book, rush out to your library. It's the perfect introduction for this activity.


  1. Maria, I totally agree with you, "No one wants to make another all about me poster and I love the idea of doing this on the computer. I love that it's a way that all kids can participate! I adopted my boys when they were 7 and 9, and it seemed like every school year, there was an activity about "where your name came from.' We didn't have any idea where my boys' names came from so they were immediately excluded from the school "club." They HATED that activity and usually had major behavior issues the day that was due. Not a good way to start the year.

    1. Thank you for your important reminder especially the first few weeks of school. It is crucial that everyone has an entry point into our new community.

  2. I do an icebreaker on the first day where they have to find out something about the other 26 people in the room -- one thing for every letter of the alphabet. So we wind up with an ABC of us!