What s in a name
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What’s in a name?. The Power of K Summer ‘09 Vanessa Osborne. Activities centered around students’ names.

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What’s in a name?

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What s in a name

What’s in a name?

The Power of K Summer ‘09

Vanessa Osborne


Activities centered around students names

Activities centered around students’ names

“The old adage asks, “What’s in a name?” Where children are concerned the obvious answer is “Everything!” Few things capture children’s own attention more quickly than seeing and hearing their own names. Their names are among the first words children learn to read and write. Names are the perfect theme for connecting skills and concepts across the curriculum.”

Bob Krech


Name games activities in order of difficulty

NAME GAMES Activities (in order of difficulty)*

1. Recognize name with graphic (photo)

2. Recognize name without graphic

3. Apply name recognition purposefully

4. Differentiate between and among names

5. Reconstruct own name

6. Visually match specific letters in names

Show three names – find the two names that begin with the same letter; end with the same letter

Show letter – find the name that has this letter at the beginning; at the end; somewhere in the middle

7. Teacher shows a letter and give its name

Find a name with the letter (say name) in it.

8. Children identify letter then find a name that has letter in it.

9. Give name or “sound” –

Find a name that begins with the same sound as (give name);

or, find a name that begins with the same sound as (utter sound)

10. Encourage children to write their names on their work or just for pleasure

*Note: All activities are modeled with whole group; followed up with small group and individuals as needed.


Making connections and making sense

Making Connections and Making Sense

“Name Games” Support the Predictors of Reading and Writing

Alphabet Knowledge

Concepts About Print

Phonological Awareness

Oral Language

Writing Name/Writing

RAN (Rapid Automatic Naming/Lexical Access)


Making connections making sense focus on dap

Making Connections & Making Sensefocus on DAP

“Name Games” activities support the principles of Developmental Appropriate Practice (grounded in knowledge of child development)

1. Engaging(of interest and importance to children)

2. Scaffolded (first teacher models; then teacher collaborates with children; then children work independently)

3. Differentiated(includes - whole group, small group, one-to-one)

4. Explicit with opportunities for Indirect Follow-up(both are focused and engaging)


Recognize name with graphic

Recognize name with graphic

One Idea:

Rolodex with children’s photos and names; add address or phone number as appropriate; put in ABC order later in year; place in home living/dramatic play area.


Name games activities

NAME GAMES Activities

Stage 2

Pictures on reverse side


More name activities

More Name activities

Names found in lots of places…

on charts…


More places to find names

More places to find names

…in books

…on nametags


We find names in many different places

We find names in many different places

…in letter jail

…near the writing center


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