Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Name Jar

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi is a book I always used early in the year with my third graders to talk about names, community and relationships. I wasn't sure if it would work with younger learners and was thrilled it did! The text is quite a bit longer than that you would use for a shared reading with emergent readers but was a great read aloud and kept their attention for duration of the reading.

Unhei is staring a new school after moving with her family from Korea. While riding the bus to school, the children riding with her have a hard time pronouncing her name and make fun of it. The result of these first interactions with students from her new school lead her to tell her new classmates she is still choosing a name when the teacher tries to introduce her. Unhei explains to her mother she needs a new name because hers is too hard to pronounce. When she returns to school the next day her classmates present her with a glass jar filled with name suggestions Ralph suggests Wensdy because she came on a Wednesday. Some of the names suggested are precious coming from young children. She tries them out and nothing fits for her. The curly hair boy helps her on the first day find her classroom and then again help her discover her own name is just perfect. As he does this you learn more about her Korean name, friendship, and acceptance.

The children enjoyed discussing how we should treat others and the origins of their names.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a lovely book - perhaps one for my kids who both have Dutch names (but we're in the UK) and so sometimes encounter confusion over their names.