Using Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes to Help Teach Children to Write Their Name

 My Name Is Special

I love doing activities that relate to a children’s book after sharing a book with a child. It’s great fun using children’s book to inspire learning in children. One of the most important lessons nannies can help children learn is to write their name. Today we recommend reading Chrysanthemumby Kevin Henkes to the child in your care and then do activities at home to encourage them to practice writing their name or compliment the book.

Chrysanthemumby Kevin Henkes is a great book to prepare four- to eight-year-old children for their first day of school and to learn to write their name.

Chrysanthemum is a cute mouse with a very beautiful name. Chrysanthemum is the name of a flower. She is happy to go to Kindergarten. Her name has 13 letters! But one of her classmates makes fun of her when she points out her name is so long that it is half of the letters in the alphabet. That is just one of the many jokes that hurts her feelings on her first days at school. Her loving parents reassure her again and again that her name is beautiful. The unforgettable music teacher’s wise, cheery, and soothing remarks to the classroom makes a world of difference to Chrysanthemum. In the book the mice children learn a valuable lesson and Chrysanthemum’s confidence is restored.

After reading Chrysanthemumby Kevin Henkes try these activities to help children to recognize and trace their first name. This is a very important first step for children. It is an opportunity for children to know that their name is special, it promotes self-esteem, and independence.

1. The meaning of a name:
Children like to know the meaning of their names, or why they were given that name. If you know or can obtain information about the meaning of the child’s name, that is an interesting way to start them to want to write their name. Click here to find out meanings and history of a name.

2. Important figures that share your name:
Find historical figures that share the same first name that you feel would be a good role model. For example if the child is named Thomas teach him about Thomas Edison. If the girl you care is named Amelia find books to borrow from the library about Ameila Earhart. It will give them a boost of confidence and make them feel good they share the same name as someone else who is or was very special.

3. Create a name tracer page:
Print put lined writing paper available for preschool with wide spacing and or for elementary students by clicking here. It may be even easier to generate a customized tracer from Kidzone Tracers.

Have the child practice their first name only. Print the name for child in the first row. Make a slow demonstration for each letter. Have them trace over your printed example.

Encourage children to practice in the rows below.
To use the tracer page many times simply insert on a transparent page protector or laminate. Make sure to close with some tape to avoid danger of suffocation. Use dry-erase markers, these really motivate the child because they can quickly make corrections.

If you insert the page in a page protector or laminate, keep it accessible (in the kitchen) and while the child is waiting for a snack or meal he or she can practice at the table on a regular basis.


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