In The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi, Unhei wants to choose an American name but decides she likes her Korean name the best, so she chooses it again. The themes of the book include:
– Be true to yourself and be proud of who you are.
– Your name is your identity.
The Name Jar is a great book to teach:
- open-mindedness and tolerance
- character traits
- point of view
- problem and solution
- making connections
Scroll down for The Name Jar activities, discussion questions and videos.
The Name Jar Summary
Unhei (pronounced ‘Yoon-hye’) and her family move from South Korea to America. Before they leave, her grandmother gives her a traditional wooden name stamp.
Unhei is nervous and scared as she waits for the bus on the first day at her new school. The children on the bus tease her because they can’t pronounce her name. Unhei worries her new classmates will also make fun of her.
Unhei’s new teacher asks her to introduce herself to the other students. She tells them she hasn’t picked an American name yet. The only problem is that she doesn’t know what name to choose.
Her classmates decide they want to help Unhei find a new name, so they make a name jar. They add different names for her to choose from, but none of them seems quite right for her.
On the day she is going to pick her name, the name jar mysteriously disappears, but Unhei reveals her name anyway. She tells her classmates her name is Unhei, revealing she likes her name just the way it is.
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- All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
- Here I Am by Patti Kim
- Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
- Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
- The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
The Name Jar Activities & Resources
I have created literacy graphic organizers for The Name Jar. You can find them at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. There are many activities for each literacy area to differentiate depending on your student’s ability/age. They include activities for:
- Author’s Purpose
- Character Traits and Analysis
- Inferring and Predicting
- Main Idea and Theme
- Making Connections
- Problem and Solution
- Retelling, Sequencing and Summarizing
*Click on these links to discover book recommendations on these topics.
The Name Jar Activities & Links
Would you like free graphic organisers for The Name Jar?
I have a freebie that is part of a larger resource so you can try it out before buying anything!
Fill in the form below to get access to the FREE pack. Click on the image to see the full pack on Teachers Pay Teachers.
The Name Jar Read-Aloud Questions
Read aloud sessions are a wonderful way for children to understand the connection between written text and spoken language. You can model reading habits and strategies, reading fluency, tone and eye contact. You can also introduce different genres, authors and illustrators.
- What do you think Yangsook Choi wants us to learn from reading The Name Jar?
- What did you learn from reading The Name Jar? What connections did you make to the story?
- Describe the problem faced by Unhei and how she solved it.
- How does Yangsook Choi show Unhei’s emotions throughout the book?
- Why was the gift from her grandmother important to Unhei?
- Why do you think children on the bus teased Unhei?
- How could the children on the bus have reacted more positively?
- Do people have trouble pronouncing your name? How do you feel and what do you do to help them with the pronunciation?
- Do you know the meaning of your name and why your parents chose it?
- What name would you choose if you could change it? Why?
- How did Unhei’s feelings towards her name change throughout the story?
- How do Unhei’s new classmates make her feel welcome?
- How do the attitudes of the children on the bus and in the classroom differ?
- Why was Joey a special friend to Unhei?
- Why do some people change their birth name?
The Name Jar Videos
Books by Yangsook Choi
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