I LOVE this first book. It's short, but very sweet (perfect for restless firsties!), so it's made its way into my BTS toolbox! My Name is Elizabeth is about a girl who doesn't like to be called by nicknames. I love the voice in this book! In the story Elizabeth speaks up for herself and lets people know exactly how she'd like to be addressed- great for illustrating how important it is to communicate your feelings with others. I think this book would work well in all elementary grades when discussing the concepts of respect and communication. Younger grades could also integrate name related activities (like the ones many of us have done with Chrysanthemum for so many years) as Elizabeth explains that she loves how many letters she has, and even how her mouth feels when she says her name. Click on the cover to go to Amazon and read the summary.
Yoon is an English language learner who's learning to write her name in symbols that don't really mean much to her, not to mention who she is or how she sees herself. This book is fantastic for discussing the concepts of identity, perspective and empathy. The slightly predictable pattern and clear concise language makes this book accessible for younger students, and the content make it acceptable for older grades as well.
What books do you like to use to help students get acquainted at the beginning of the year?