While many teachers are on summer break or will be in the next few weeks, the teacher brain never turns off. Even while relaxing, they are thinking about plans for next year. This often includes new classroom management techniques and creating new hands-on lessons. Additionally, it includes ensuring that students feel welcome in the classroom and have positive relationships with classmates. Honestly, relationships are a crucial part of having a great school year. A favorite way to build a community is through books. They help students relate to characters while understanding how to handle different situations. Thus, this book review on The Name Jar will show an incredible way to start the year. The Name Jar book helps ensure all students are a part of the classroom and proud of who they are!
The Name Jar
Author and illustrator Yangsook Choi created a heartwarming story about facing fears in new situations.
Being the new kid in school is tough! However, Unhei is not just moving schools. She is moving countries! On the journey from South Korea to America, Unhei thinks about how much adjustment she will go through. One of the biggest worries surrounds the first day of school. Sadly, kids on the bus make fun of Unhei because they cannot pronounce her name. This makes her so nervous about entering a new classroom. When the teacher asks for her name, Unhei decides she does not want to go through the bus situation again. Instead, she says she has not selected an American name, so her classmates make a name jar. While drawing out different options, nothing feels right. Thankfully, a new friend shows Unhei that her name is the best option.
After reading this story, students will understand the importance of being themselves and proud of who they are.
The Name Jar Book Activities
Honestly, this book is an incredible way to help every student feel welcome in the classroom. It shows students the importance of being courageous and confident in who they are. Thankfully, there are great activities to connect a powerful story and content standards.
This no-prep activity set contains many ways for students to get back into an academic mindset. Specifically, there are many literary standards with discussion questions, sequencing skills, and critical detail review. Additionally, students will work on vocabulary words, compare and contrast, and fact or opinion. There are also many activities to help students be proud of who they are. They will complete a name acrostic and activities to remind them how their name makes them all unique. These activities will be sure to help build a positive classroom environment!
Unhei did not get to pick her Korean name. However, her new classmates did not get to choose their names either. To help remind all students that no one picked their name, have them ask their families how it was selected. Then, they can write a few sentences about it and share responses with the class. This will be a great way to remind students they have been unique since birth!
Point of View:
Often, students can get confused when learning point of view. Luckily, The Name Jar book provides a helpful way to help students with this skill. They can locate different pronouns on the pages to prove the viewpoint the author wrote the book in.
Cause and Effect:
Students do not always see the relationship between what they do and the outcome in elementary or lower middle school. Thus, they need time to practice identifying cause and effect situations. Honestly, this book has so many options to use. This means that students can practice a few examples as a class. Then, they can work in small groups or independently. As students gain confidence, teachers can even make this activity more complex. For instance, students can be given a specific cause and identify the effect. Or, they can be given the effect and determine the cause.
The start of the year is such an exciting time. However, it can also be highly stressful and overwhelming. Luckily, this book review on The Name Jar shows how it is the perfect book to begin the year. Ultimately, The Name Jar book helps establish a positive and inclusive classroom climate the minute students arrive.
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