is a great beginning get-to-know-you activity for first grade as a
activity, and as a review of ordinal numbers. For a kindergarten class,
students should be familiar with their own name, and this lesson should
be taught after you have taught the numbers 1 to 10.
Before beginning this lesson, prepare the following items for each student:
- Print each student's name on a sentence strip. Prepare a strip with your name also.
- Create a 2" × 2" piece of paper for each student. You could divide a blank sentence strip into 2" pieces.
- Cut the Letters in My Name cutouts into strips so that each student will have 1 sentence strip.
- Have 1 piece of construction paper for each student to make a page for the class book.
Students use these sentence strips to create a page for a class
"Letters in Our Names" book. A sample completed page is shown below.
Display the prepared name strips on a pocket chart or anything similar that allows students to see everyone's name.
To introduce the lesson, tell students that today they are going to
compare names. Ask, "What is different about your names?" [They have
different letters; boys’ and girls’ names; some are longer, some are
shorter; and so on.]
Show students a name that is very short and one that is long.
Ask, "What is different about these two names?"[Students may respond
that the letters are different; one is a boy's name one is a girl's
name; and so on.] Try to get students to come up with the answer that
one has a lot of letters and the other does not. Point out that
everyone's name is different, and their names have different numbers of
Explain that students are going to find out how many letters are in
everyone's name by cutting apart each name. Demonstrate by using the
strip with your name.
Have students take turns finding their name on the pocket chart and
taking it back to their seats. Have students cut between each letter in
their name. The letters now become their manipulatives.
Next, have each student count their letters and while you
listen for accuracy. Ask students to tell you what number to write on
their 2" × 2" paper. You may want them to write the number themselves.
Students then glue their name on a piece of construction paper,
leaving a small space between each letter. They then glue on their
2" × 2" paper showing the corresponding number.
Have students look at their neighbor's name. Ask, "Who has the
shorter name, you or your neighbor?" They can share responses with the
class, comparing their name with other students' names.
Give each student a sentence strip from the Letters in My Name
cutouts. Have students complete the sentence by writing the number of
letters in their name, and then gluing the sentence on their page.
Students can finish their page for the class book by gluing on a snapshot of themselves or drawing a picture of themselves.
When everyone's page is finished, put the class book in order by
asking, "If we started our book with the shortest name and went to the
longest name, whose name would be first?" Brainstorm with students to
put the rest of the class book in order. Use the ordinal numbers first through tenth when putting the book together. (Note: If the shortest names are Amy, Ben, and Mia, then all three came first.)
During circle time, read the class book as a group, allowing
students to come up and read their page to the class. Each student can
also lead the class in counting the letters in his or her name.
Remember to review the ordinal numbers as you are reading the book.
Place the completed book in your class library. It will be revisited
many times during students' free time, making the class book a great
review of numbers 1 to 10.