Discovering Our Unique Identities with ‘The Name Jar’

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Preschool / Pre-Primary / Nursery / Pre-Kindergarten Lesson Plan – Learning Name Jar Book, Maria Montessori philosophy

Title:ย “Discovering Our Unique Identities with ‘The Name Jar'”

Age Group:ย Preschool / Pre-Primary / Nursery / Pre-Kindergarten (3-5 years old)

Learning Framework:ย Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) – USA

Educational Approach:ย Montessori Method

Learning Outcomes (Based on ELOF):

  1. Language and Literacy Development:ย Children will engage in active listening during story time and express their ideas during discussions.
  2. Social and Emotional Development:ย The story provides an opportunity to discuss themes of diversity, self-acceptance, and respect for others.
  3. Cognitive Development:ย Children will develop problem-solving skills by participating in activities that encourage critical thinking and decision making.

Resources Needed:

  • “The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi
  • Craft materials: Jars, small pieces of paper, pens

Lesson Plan:

1. Introduction and Story Reading (15-20 minutes):

Begin by reading “The Name Jar” to the children. Encourage interactions during the reading by pausing to ask questions or to explain difficult concepts.

2. Story Discussion (10-15 minutes):

After reading, engage the children in a discussion about the story. Discuss the main character, Unhei, her struggles with her unique name, and how she embraced her cultural identity.

3. Our Own Name Jars (20-30 minutes):

Provide each child with a jar, small pieces of paper, and pens. Ask them to write their names on the papers and put them into their own “Name Jar.” Use this activity to discuss the beauty of each name and the uniqueness of every individual.

4. Show-and-Tell (20-30 minutes):

Invite children to share something about their name – it could be the story behind their name, what their name means, or anything else they’d like to share. This exercise promotes public speaking and builds self-esteem.

5. Story Reflection (10-15 minutes):

Wrap up the lesson by asking the children to reflect on the story and the character of Unhei. Discuss the importance of being proud of who we are and respecting others’ identities.


Observe children’s engagement during the story reading, their participation in the discussion, and their responses during the show-and-tell. Check for understanding of the book’s main themes.

Alignment with Montessori Method:

The lesson encourages self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. It also respects each child’s individuality, giving them the freedom to express themselves and appreciate their unique identities.

Link to ELOF:

This lesson aids in language and literacy development (through story reading and discussion), social and emotional development (themes of self-acceptance, diversity, and respect), and cognitive development (problem-solving and decision-making activities).






Maria Montessori



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