The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi reinforces the themes of acceptance, identity, open-mindedness, principled and tolerance.

Unhei and her family move from Korea to America. Before they leave her grandmother gives her a wooden name stamp. She is nervous and scared as she waits for the bus on the first day at her new school. When the children on the bus tease her because they can’t pronounce her name, Unhei worries her new classmates will make fun of her.

Her new teacher asks Unhei to introduce herself to the other students. She tells them she hasn’t picked an American name yet. Her classmates decide that they want to help Unhei find a new name so make a name jar. They add different names for her to choose from, but she comes to realise she likes her name just the way it is.

This book is a great way to teach character traits, point of view, problem & solution, sequencing and retelling.

Book Themes

being yourself, self-acceptance, identity, self-esteem, tolerance, individuality

Key Vocabulary

grooves and ridges, blush, identity, pouch, graceful, gleamed, souvenir, kimchi, signature, concern, breathlessly

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
Illustrator: Yangsook Choi
Publisher: Dragonfly Books (2003)
ISBN: 9780440417996

Take a look inside 

Yangsook Choi Official Website

Related Posts

Book Resources​

I have created a bundle of literacy graphic organizers for The Name Jar. You can find them at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Click on the image to go directly to the pack.

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.

  • Is your name important to your identity? Why or why not?
  • What do you think Yangsook Choi wants us to learn from reading The Name Jar?
  • What connections did you make to the story?
  • Why was the gift from her grandmother important to Unhei?
  • Why do you think children on the bus teased Unhei?
  • How did Unhei’s feeling towards her name change throughout the story?
  • How do Unhei’s new classmates make her feel welcome?
  • What do you think of why Unhei’s classmates picked the names they did?
  • Why was Joey a special friend to Unhei?

You can find a set of discussion cards in The Name Jar Literacy Bundle. Click on the images to explore more single packs for The Name Jar.

Book Trailers & Videos

Books by Yangsook Choi

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The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

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