Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Name Jar

Group: Jocelyn Chung, Emma Klauber,  Jina Kim
: "The Name Jar"
Author: Yangsook Choi
Summary: This book is about a young girl that leaves her home in Korea. As she leaves her grandmother, her grandmother gives her a name stamp with her name in Korean. She comes to America and her first interaction with other children isn't a good one. All of the students have trouble saying her name and start making fun of her name. She decides that she wants to give herself an american name. On her first day of school she tells the class that she hasn't picked a name yet so the class starts a name jar. The jar is filled with names that the other children in the class have suggested.  She reads many of the names but hasn't picked one yet.  During this time, she meets a friend that takes much interest in her name.  This friend and the girl meet at a Korean supermarket and the owner of the market says her name, Unhei.  The boy finds out her name and wants her to keep her name. The next day of school he takes the name jar and no one can find it.  When she goes home this friend comes to Unhei's house and gives her the name jar and tells her that she should keep her name and also shows her something really special, his very own name stamp.   
Reflection: I really enjoyed this book, especially because it was about a little Korean girl.  I could relate to the little girl in many ways.  I believe that this shows other students the perspective of this little Korean girl.  It will help other students understand how Unhei felt and could even teach other students what acceptance is of others and themselves.  
How would I use this book in the classroom: There are so many ways that this book could be used in the classroom.  This could be used to teach students tolerance and acceptance of others.  The teacher could read aloud this book and then she could have the students make their own name stamps and do research about what their name means.  Students could write their name in their language as well.  Doing these different things will help the students learn about their peers and be tolerant of them.  This would be a good way to build community in the classroom.  
Domains of Social Justice: 
1. Self-love and acceptance: This book talks all about self-love and acceptance. Unhei had to except her korean name and her identity.  Hopefully this will help other students to do the same and accept themselves for who they are.  
2. Respect for Others: This book will teach the students about other cultures. Some of the students in the book are also good examples of how they were accepting of Unhei and how they showed respect to her.  This could be a topic that could be discussed with your students.   
3. Exploring Issues of Social Justice: After reading this book, the students can move on and talk about different social issues going on in the world that deal with tolerance of other cultures and acceptance and respect of different people.  The students can do research about different things going on in the world and discuss what things that they could do.    
4. Social Movements and Social Change: The students can start taking action by being tolerant of other students and making a difference through their actions.  They can tell other people about what they learned and if they see intolerance happening in their schools they could try to do something about it.  

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