SK Wonders, What's in a Name?
Julie Gelfond and Kelsey Gorelik, SK 107
When we are passionate about a topic, or even a hobby, we tend to explore it in as many ways as possible. Children learn very effectively using that same process.
At the beginning of the year, SK learned how to recognize, spell and write their names. Our students found a lot of joy and pride when they engaged in a variety of name explorations. Just as they build conceptual understanding in math, Senior Kindergarten students have continued to deepen their understanding of their names as the year has progressed. 
During our author study, we read Julius, Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes. Older sister Lily is excited about the impending arrival of her new baby brother...until Julius arrives. She is jealous of all the attention but in the end, love wins. Kids really identify with a story about siblings and we adored this book so much that we made our own book, SK 107 Babies of the World.
We combined our curiosity about siblings and names, as we were also inspired by another Kevin Henkes book, Chrysanthemum. In this story, Chrysanthemum absolutely loves her name, which also happens to be the name of a flower. This really got the students thinking more about their own names; their meanings and their significance. We asked our Senior Kindergarteners and their families to share the story behind both their English and Hebrew names and we were amazed at the responses. We even learned that one of our students was named after the first human created, because he is the first American citizen in his family!
We also read some wonderful and diverse books that connected with our name theme as well. We had rich discussions after reading Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal and Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow.
Our names have brought us on an enlightening journey. How did you get your name?!

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