Word Walls and The Name Game
Each day we have one person who is our helper and we focus on
her name. When everyone has had a turn, we start another round.
I find it easiest to go in alphabetical order by first names.
I write the students names on sentence strips, using one color
for boys, and another for girls.
First round: We reveal one name each day, beginning with a cheer:
?Gimme a B (B), Gimme an i (i), Gimme an l (l), Gimme another l
(l), Gimme a y (y). What?s that spell? (Billy). One more time!
Then I ask if anyone ?notices? anything about Billy?s name and
we look for letters in common with other names, or count letters
and look for other names with the same number of letters. Then
we take a good look at the student, discussing colors of
clothing, so each child can draw a picture of the helper. I
write the helper?s name on the board and encourage everyone to
try to write that person?s name and then draw a picture of the
helper. The helper gets to take home the pictures drawn by
others, his is put up on the bulletin board with the name card
2nd Round: The self-portraits are put into a class book and the
name cards are transferred to an alphabet word wall. Each day we
read the alphabet and names, then take the helper?s name off to
cheer and ?notice? letters about this name and others. We form
the helper?s name in magnetic letters, scramble them up and take
turns putting them in the right order.
3rd Round: When we read the alphabet, we say the sounds in
addition to the letters and names. This time we cheer, write
the letters in the helper?s name on the board and then count how
many of those letters are in the names on the word wall. Then
we talk about which letter has the most, least, etc. We have
also added another name cheer: ?Bryan, Bryan, that?s his name.
It starts with B, it ends with n, hooray, Bryan! We still
scramble the name with magnetic letters.
At some point we begin to add sight words to the names on the
wall, usually starting with go and we. In December, or after we
come back from Christmas, we take the names off the word wall
and put them in a pocket chart for the kids to use during
centers. We continue to add sight words the rest of the year,
reading the alphabet, and saying the sounds and words each day.
Here are additional name ideas; some I?ve tried, some I haven?t.
*Count the syllables.
*Write the names like a rainbow.
*Name poems from the website Korky?s Kool rhyme machine
*Think of words that begin the same as the name.
*Make up tongue twisters.
*Fill out an interview sheet.
*Mystery person (hangman type game where you draw blanks for the
letters and the kids guess letters until they know the name.
* Use the letters in the name and look for smaller words.
*Cut up name puzzles to keep in a literacy center.
*Change the initial consonant and play with the word (Sue, Bue,
*Another name cheer:
No matter what I do or say,
My name will always be the same,
It starts with_____
It ends with ____
Now count to 3 and say my name,