Skills Building: The Name Jar (PK-5)

Written and Illustrated by Yangsook Choi

TEKS: Reading K.6(E); 1.7(E); 2.7E; 3.7(E); 4.7(E); 5.7(E)

Pre Reading Questions

  1. Think of a time when you were in a place where you felt different from those around you. How did that feel?
  2. If you moved to a new country and people had a hard time pronouncing your name, would you change your name to fit in?
  3. What would the school/program feel like if we all had the same name or names that sounded alike?

Post Reading Questions

  1. Think about the kids who teased Unhei on the bus. Have you been teased for being different? If so, how did that make you feel?
  2. What did Joey do to make Unhei feel more welcomed?
  3. What are some ways we can make all people feel welcomed?
  4. How do our differences make our community more interesting? 

Creative Enrichment Activity: Name Stamps (Pre-K-5)

Overview: In The Name Jar, Unhei is embarrassed because others have a difficult time saying her name. Her grandmother gives her a name stamp to teach her the importance of her name. In this activity, students will create their own name stamps using foam letter stickers.


● Popsicle sticks
● Multiple packages of small foam letter stickers
● Glue or a hot glue gun
● Washable paint in multiple colors
● Paper plates
● Paper towels
● 1 poster board

Duration: 45 minutes

● 5 minutes – Introduce the name stamp activity
● 25 minutes – Create name stamps
● 10 minutes – Practice stamping names
● 5 minutes – Reflect on the activity


  1. Before the activity, create a sample name stamp. 
  2. Gather students at tables to introduce the activity. Explain to students the importance of a name. Remind them that all names have meanings and that our parents chose our names after much thought and deliberation. Our names make us unique.
  3. Next, hand out popsicle sticks to serve as the foundation of the stamp.
  4. Then, spread foam letters on all the tables.
  5. Students will gather the foam letters that spell their name. Depending on name length and letter supplies, you could also just spell initials.
  6. Students will then flip each letter backwards. Letters need to be backwards to create a stamp.
  7. Once students have spelled their names or initials backwards, they will use glue or a hot glue gun to put their stamps together. Stamps will need time to dry. (An adult should supervise or handle if using hot glue).
  8. Clean up the materials.
  9. Next, place paper plates with a variety of paint colors on each table.
  10. Have students dip their name stamp into the paint and press it onto a poster board. Each student will stamp their name on the same poster board.*
  11. Use paper towels to wipe the excess paint off of the name stamps.

: Name stamps are a great way for students to sign “Respect Agreements.”

Reflection Questions

  • What do you like most about your name?
  • How does your name make you unique?
  • How does it make you feel when you see all the different names on the poster board?
  • Do you know the origins or meaning of your name? If not, this is a great opportunity to talk with your parents when you get home.*
  • How did we practice respecting differences in today’s activity?


Note: Researching the meaning and origin of student names and doing a project in the computer lab can be a great extension activity for students.