Playing Name Bingo with Chrysanthemum
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This get-to-know-you activity gives every student a chance to be in the spotlight as they participate in the Name Bingo Game. After reading Chrysanthemum to introduce the topic of names, students make Name Bingo cards by writing the name of each classmate in a different square of a blank Bingo board. Next, students brainstorm personal questions designed to get to know one another. To play the game, the teacher randomly calls out a name, and students cover that name on their board with a marker. In this twist of the traditional bingo game, after each name is chosen, the student responds by answering one of the questions designed to help students learn more about one another. The game continues until someone gets Bingo. The winner then gets to add another question to the list before a new game begins.
Blank Bingo Card: Students can write their classmates' names in the squares to create a card for Name Bingo.
From Theory to Practice
In Becoming Literate: The Construction of Inner Control, Marie Clay states, "Children will use their knowledge of letters in family names or classmates' names at later stages as part of their analysis of new words." This classroom activity focuses on the beginning of that process of analysis. Clay explains the reason that such activities engage learners: "A child's name has singular importance as he embarks on learning about literacy... It enhances his security and his self-image, giving him a feeling of importance...The use of the children's names in a class activity is a useful way of developing letter knowledge. "
Mariana Souto-Manning takes it a step further, emphasizing the importance of respecting students' names as part of a diverse classroom community. "By highlighting the importance of names and their many meanings and accents across cultures, languages, and places, we can create a space for acknowledging the identities children embody and move one step closer toward genuinely valuing diversity in classrooms."
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
- 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
- 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
Materials and Technology
- Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes or a similar book that focuses on children's names and going to school. Other books that will work for this lesson include Ashok by Any Other Name by Sandra S. Yamate, The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi , and My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits.
- General art supplies (markers, pencils, crayons, stickers)
- Chart paper
- Class list
- listen to the book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes.
- discuss the story concentrating on the importance of a name.
- fill in and decorate bingo cards.
- answer questions about themselves.
- have the opportunity to participate in question-making decisions to be answered by their classmates (see their ideas in print).
- recognize one another's names.
- listen to the answers of other students and learn more about one another.
- (optional) work cooperatively to play a game in the learning center.
- Introduce Chrysanthemum to the class and read it aloud.
- Pass out blank bingo cards.
- Using your class list as a guide, call out every student's name on the list. Write every name on the chart paper so that your students can copy the names. You may also wish to have name sticks so that you may draw names from a cup.
- Students write each name in a box of their choice on their bingo cards. Please note the names must be written in the boxes randomly to prevent multiple bingos.
- Allow the students to individualize their cards by decorating them with markers, crayons, or other classroom materials.
- Collect bingo cards so that you can play the game during the next session.
- Hand out bingo cards randomly to students. Explain the general rules for bingo so that students understand the game.
- Hand out plenty of Chrysanthemum markers for each student.
- Invite students to brainstorm 3 or 4 personal questions designed to get to know one another on the chart paper (for instance, What is your favorite color? What is your favorite book? Do you have any pets?)
- Begin the game by randomly calling out a student's name, or drawing a name stick from a cup.
- Students respond by placing their Chrysanthemum markers on the called name.
- The student whose name was called responds by answering one of the three questions on the chart paper.
- Continue to play until someone yells, "Bingo."
- The Name Bingo Game's twist is to reward the student who call bingo by giving them the opportunity to think of another question to be written on the chart paper.
Capitalize on students' excitement about Name Bingo to explore more about names. Have students see if their names or the names of anyone they know appear on the list of the most popular names compiled by the Social Security Administration. You can also use the Behind the Name site to find the derivations of students' names, though this site is not appropriate for direct student use. Students may also want to ask their parents how their names were chosen and share this information with the class.
Student Assessment / Reflections
Use the following checklist to assess students' work:
- Did the student actively listen to the book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes?
- Did the student actively participate in the discussion of the story?
- Did the student listen to and follow directions when filling in and decorating the bingo cards?
- Did the student correctly copy the names of their classmates from the chart onto the cards?
- Can the student identify the names of other students in the class?
- Did the student actively participate in answering the questions during the game and/or creating new questions to add to the list?
- Did the student actively listen to the responses of others during the game?
- Can the student work cooperatively in small groups to play the Name Game in a learning center?