The Innovation Press has recently released Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and Luisa Uribe. This book is a celebration that reminds us of the beauty, history, and magic behind names. I want to share a few name activities you can pair with this book.
I received a copy of this book from The Innovation Press in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Your Name is a Song
Written by: Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Illustrated by: Luisa Uribe
Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl’s mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Empowered by this newfound understanding, the young girl is ready to return the next day to share her knowledge with her class.
As you probably already know, my name is Storie. Though it was not always my favorite growing up (“Tell me a story, Storie”), I love having a unique name now. A name is a huge part of our identity. Each student in your classroom also has a special name. It is our responsibility to learn each and every name, including how to spell and pronounce them correctly. This is just one reason why I believe Your Name is a Song is a must-read for the classroom.
Before you share this book with your class, I recommend you view this name pronunciation video featuring the author, Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow.
If you don’t already have a copy of this book in your school or classroom library, you can find it on Amazon.
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Your Name is a Song Activities
Since the book focuses on celebrating how beautiful names are, I want to share some name activities to pair with it. The first activity allows each student to focus on their own name. It includes a set of questions or statements about each name along with a picture space. Students might draw a self-portrait or write their name in an artistic way. These can also be combined into a class book. There are a few options that can be used for the book cover (not pictured).
Your Name is a Song celebrates a variety of names within its pages. Some of these names might be new to your students. I added two pages to record names. One is meant to be used with the names of students in your class. The other is for students to share and celebrate names they know from A to Z.
Once students have focused on their own name as well as the names of their classmates, they can graph that information. There are two different ways to graph names: by the number of letters in each name and by starting letter.
You can download these name activities here.
Other Books That Celebrate Names
Your Name is a Song is just one book that celebrates the beauty of names. Here are a few others that you might share. Click on any of the links below to learn more about each book. Do you have another children’s book that celebrates names? I’d love to check it out!
If you enjoy this resource, be sure to check out these book activities.
Lorraine Padilla says
This is so wonderful, thank you for the resources! I am planning to read this book on the first day of school, and these are perfect supplements!
Thank you for the ready made activity. I was already planning to use this book, but your handout/ visual is a perfect way for the kids to help introduce themselves to me and each other. We’ll be using Flipgrid so the children can record themselves saying their name which will help me with our incoming Kindergarten and new to our school students.
Stephanie Reyes says
Thank you for these wonderful resources! I plan to use the “Your Name is A Song” sheets to accompany a mini-unit on identity and the importance of names with my first graders. We are reading Alma, Thunder Boy Jr., Chrysanthemum, Your Name is a Song, Tikki Tikki Tembo and How Nivi Got Her Names. Next, we are asking everyone to tell the story of their own name and post it on a padlet. Some of my kiddos are hybrid and some remote, so this project is helping us find ways to connect with one another even though we can’t be together in person at the same time. Thank you so much for creating such high-quality resources to support young learners!