August 2004

Name Games

Cookies | Sound | Looking | Name Cards | Name Art



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You can get a "whole lot of learning" from something simple like name cards. Write each child's name on a sentence strip and place them in a box or basket. Use the name cards in activities similar to those below to enhance name recognition, reading skills, writing skills, and classroom management.
Hint! First, put children's pictures beside their name on the card. After children become confident with this, let each child choose a symbol (sticker, animal, shape, etc.) to go beside their name. Next, use cards with their names where the first letter is written in a different color. Finally, just use cards with the children's names.

Name Cards

Cheer: Choose one name at a time and cheer it out.
"Give me a "P" - "P" - I've got a "P," you've got a "P". Give me an "A" - "A" - I've got an "A", you've got an "A". Give me a "T" - "T" - I've got a "T", you've got a "T." What's it spell? "Pat" Say it again. "Pat" One more time. "Pat." You can also clap out the syllables in children's names.
Songs: Pull out one card at a time and use it in a name chant or song, such as "Little Red Box," "Who Ate the Cookie?" or "Hickety Pickety Bumblebee." (See August, 2003, for more name songs.)
Transitions: Pull names to line up, answer questions, go to centers, etc.
Sign In: Place name cards by a large sheet of paper. Each day when children come to school they can find their card and write their name on the chart. (Hint: Write "Who's Here Today?" on the top of the page.)
Helpers: Choose names for special jobs, to sit by the teacher, etc.
Writing Center: Keep cards in the writing center so children can use their friends' names to write stories, notes, etc.
Word Wall: Attach Velcro to the back of cards and use for interactive activities on the word wall.
Mystery Name: Choose one child's name each day and place it in an envelope. Give clues about the consonants and vowels in the name. For example, "This person's name has one vowel and it is in the middle." Write an "a" on the envelope. "Whose name could it be? This name has a /t/ sound at the end." Write a "t" on the envelope. "Anybody guess whose name this might be? There is a /p/ at the beginning of this name." Write a "P" on the envelope. "Stand up if this is your name." Pull the name card from the envelope to verify.
Seating: Place cards on the rug before circle time. Children find their name and sit in that spot. (The cards can be used in a similar manner for snack or table activities.)
Grouping: Pull two names at a time for partner activities. You could also choose name cards for small group activities.

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