This All About Me lesson plan is perfect for in-person, preschool homeschool, or remote preschool. Names are a vital part of children’s self-identity and as well as being a great early literacy tool. This preschool lesson plan about names uses names for all kinds of learning. I will be teaching remote or virtual preschool this fall, and I am working hard to adapt lesson plans for this new challenge. This lesson plan and the accompanying book is all about names, identity, and being seen. For my virtual preschool, I will be sending two short recorded read aloud videos with quick mini-lessons a week, having short zoom meetings focused one focused on community building. The other is doing a hands-on letter activity ( my students are almost all PreK), and then I send home activities for the students to do with the help of their families and caregivers. I hope that this preschool lesson plan about names will help you create your own for whatever style of preschool you are teaching this fall.
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Your Name Is A Song by Jamilah Thompson-Bigelow is a beautiful book for the start of the year and as part of an All About Me theme. This book is all about how bad it feels when someone can’t say your name, and how to fix that. After telling her mom that her teacher couldn’t say her name and how terrible it made her feel, her mom gives her a fantastic tool to feel empowered and turn it all around. I love this book’s inclusiveness, and its celebration of names, and how it encourages children to stand up for themselves in positive ways even to adults in power. The illustrations by Luisa Uribe are absolutely stunning!
Preschool Lesson Plan About Names
I will be taking you step by step through my virtual routine for my recorded lessons. It’s not that different from my circle time routine in class. If you are using this lesson plan for your circle time in-person, I note my suggestions for you in every step.
- I start my preschool video lesson with my Good Morning song with photos of my students. As I say their names in the song, I point to their photos I have attached to a cookie sheet. This is one way to include my students in a lesson that is not live. For this planning video, I used old pictures of my own children.
- Next, it’s time to read the book! I always introduce the book reading the names of the author and illustrator and asking the students, “What do you think this book might be about? Let’s look at the cover.”As I read, I stop to ask questions as I would in traditional storytime, giving my students time to answer me and responding as if they have. In this book, I focus very much on how the main character is feeling. I try to mimic her feelings in my facial expressions to support this.
- After the book, it’s time for a quick lesson. This lesson is all about names. These photos are stock photos because my school year hasn’t started, and I don’t share pictures of my students. Still, all you need to make these are a photo of your student, paper, and either a photo editing application like canva.com, or you can also just glue the picture on paper and use a marker to add the writing.There are four parts to this lesson; letter recognition with your student’s first initial, name recognition with their full name in print, the correct pronunciation of names, and community building. First, point out the first letter of your students’ names. “B is for Brody.”
Next, read their full name – tracking your finger as you do to signify this is the word or rather name you are reading.
Finally, sing their name!
- Now its time to sing! For this lesson, Who Stole The Cookie From the Cookie Jar is excellent, though with a long class it might take some time which is fine in person but if you are recording this lesson try to keep the videos shorter than 20 minutes for sure, I am for 12-15 minutes max. If that’s the case, use this song later and maybe try If You’re Happy and you know it, but with feelings! You can get the lyrics here.
Name Activities for Preschool
For each recorded remote preschool lesson, I include at-home activities. If you are teaching in-person, these are great center activities for free-choice and group time. Most of these activities focus on names, but identity is much more than just your name, so try to include other things like favorite colors and such. I have included some about favorite colors and family names too.
Initial Resist Painting
For this activity, you will need letter decals for each student’s first initial ( found in the hardware section on a big box store or right here online), some sturdy paper ( test the decal out first to make sure it comes off clean), paint, and a paintbrush.
Cover the paper and decal with paint. Let dry.
Peel the decal off. Beautiful!
Number of Letters In Your Name
I shy away from anything that resembles worksheets in my teaching, but virtual school is a little different, we need to make activities meaningful, engaging, and easy for parents to help their children execute. This simple printable ( download here for free) uses children’s names to do a little meaningful math. I don’t expect most preschoolers to be able to write their names, but if they are ready, this gives them ample room. Drawing themselves allows pre-writers and writers alike a chance to create. I have included one other person or pet space for the student to think about others and do a little more counting and drawing too!
Name Roll & Cover Game
I made this simple printable for my students for this preschool lesson plan about names. Make math meaningful with a math game all about them! You will need to make a game board for each student, adding in as many white circles on their name as you see fit for their ability level. Make sure they have a die ( I will be including one in our materials packet, hmm maybe a few) and something to use as markers. All they need to do is roll the die and add that many buttons ( or other markers) to the dots on their name. Keep going until it’s all filled up.
After they are done playing, they can use their game board as a coloring sheet!
Favorite Color Collage
This is a simple activity that allows children to create freely, which is sometimes hard for caregivers who feel like they need step by step instructions. As the year progresses, I will be introducing more and more process art to my virtual classroom. For this activity, you will need multiple items of the child’s favorite color. How do you do that in a remote situation? I’ll be sending home paper, some foam scraps, feathers, gems, colored popsicle sticks… all in one bag labeled “ Bits and Bobs” with the strict instruction not to use this unless it’s part of the lesson. This is their very own multi-colored craft scrap pile.
For this activity, I would ask that the parents let the child dig through this and find their favorite color and then use some of those along with crayons, markers, and glue to make this collage.
Family Name Hunt
Grab some post-it notes and a marker to write out family names. Hide them around your house and go on the hunt! You can also do this with photos instead if written names are too challenging.
This activity is all about fine motor development, but it turns a tedious skill development activity into fun by making it all about your students’ names. Get some black paper, foil stars, and a white crayon or chalk marker. Write or have your student write their name on the paper with the white crayon. Time to add stickers! If you want an easy way to explain what a constellation is to preschoolers, check out this video.
Need more ideas?
Remember to choose activities that won’t overwhelm parents. Some parents are eager and enjoy this role of teaching at home, and others are trying to balance working at home full time and caring for young children. It’s tough, know your audience. My thematic units have been super helpful for me as I plan because they have printable materials that are easy to send home ( don’t worry, these aren’t worksheets). Directions for activities are already written out so I can easily share them with families.
Check out my library of affordable thematic units here.
If you have decided to keep your preschooler home and need the SIMPLEST learning activities you can do without any special materials, check out my newest ebook, EVERYDAY PRESCHOOL. Hundreds of parents have already bought it, and the reviews are glowing. This book is perfect for you if you don’t know where to start and have no desire or time to teach your child all day. Learn more about this great book here.
How did you get the white circles on the name font?
Allison McDonald says
I put them in myself – so on Canva I added a circle shape and duplicated it and spaced them as I saw fit. You could use a paint pen too!
I managed it on Google Docs. Turn landscape, then Insert –> Drawing –> New. Then Actions –> Word Art. For the dots select the Shapes button, choose circle, then copy and paste and move them around.