Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Name Jar and Short Vowel Necklace

I found such a wonderful book. It's actually more than 10 years old, so what took me so long to discover it. The Name Jar is about a little girl that recently moved from Korea and is nervous that the American children will not like her. She wonders if she should change her name to an American name that is easier to pronounce. It's a lovely story with an ending the kids in my class can learn from. This is actually something that happens in my class quite often and so many of my students were able to relate to our story's character, Unhei. We continued our study of story elements. Using a story map has been super helpful and I love how easy it is when using sticky notes.
Grab this story map for The Name Jar.
I also made a story map for the children to have them try completing their own.
Another activity we used with this story is discussing ways we are special. Just like Unhei's name made her unique, we all have something unique about us. Unhei's grandmother tells her during the story, "You are different...That's a good thing!" I couldn't agree more. I love finding opportunities to celebrate what makes us special. 
We completed a chart and the children told me something that makes them unique. 
Grab this writing page for The Name Jar.
Our art activity tied into the story. We made our own wooden name stamp like the one Unhei received from her dear grandmother. A local business puts out tons of scrap pine wood each day, so I was able to grab wooden blocks for the class to make their own "name stamp". We first sanded the paper, so that they became sliver free. Next, the kids used starch to brush on colorful tissue paper. Some children were methodical when placing their tissue paper and others just slapped them on with no rhyme or reason. Both ways came out beautifully. I punched out the children's first initial with our school's Ellison cutter and pasted it on with Modge Podge. One coat seals the coat and makes the block shiny.
We are still working on short vowel CVC words. This was a fun, tactile activity we did that started as a small group activity that was lead by a parent. We strung the straws a "beads" together as a whole class. The children wore the necklaces all day. They took them home and read them at least three times. If they got their boxes checked off, they received a ticket the following day. 
 Providing your students with a variety of ways to practice their phonics and fluency skills increases the likelihood of increased success, not to mention makes learning CVC words FUN!
Check out this fun way of learning phonics...HERE.

Enjoy your week.

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