He Calls Me By My Name
Children’s names are very closely connected to their identities. Especially at the kindergarten level, children’s “connectedness” to new concepts and understandings are intricately related to their own personal experiences. A language-based environment in which children’s names are explored is a strong and natural tool to teach the foundational (and often abstract) skills of reading and writing. In her book The Importance of Being Little, Erika Christakis argues that children learn much better when letters are taught in the context of individual names, as they have a reason to learn names, and these words actually mean something to them. At a Kindergarten level, the learning of names helps to initiate friendships and other social relationships, and helps children to feel like they are an integral part of the learning community. Names, however, link all people to their identity, no matter their age. The theme of “names” is personal and broad; it can be weaved genuinely and naturally into many topic areas and subjects.
This is an integrated unit for Kindergarten. Click here to download the unit (in pdf format).
Mary-Ann Vanderstoep, John Calvin Christian School (Yarrow)
Jennifer Onderwater, Credo Christian School