The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners

Rainbow Names

Objective: Students learn how to write names in English.
Group Size: Any
Prep Time: dependent on group size
Activity Time: 15-20 minutes
Interest Level: ages 4-7
Ability Level: beginning

Preparation: Neatly print student names by hand or in a large, clear font (120 pt or larger). For very young children, pre-mount printed names on construction paper or cardstock.

Materials Needed:
Pre-printed names
Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
Construction paper or cardstock
Glue (optional)
Small photo of each child (optional)

Directions: Give each child a pre-printed copy of his or her name. Explain that they are going to turn the black letters into a rainbow of letters. Take time to review basic colors. Then, direct students to trace over all the letters in their name with the color you specify. (For very young children, say the color, show the color, then have students show you the color before they begin to write.) Encourage them to say the name of each letter in their name as they trace.

Trace names repeatedly, using six or more colors in rainbow sequence. If names are not already mounted on heavy paper, show students how to mount them. Then, allow them to decorate the name tags as desired.

Collect name tags after students finish decorating them, laminate, and affix to desks or a bulletin board where children may use them as a ready reference when writing.

I usually take a digital picture of each child before doing this project and supply them with a preprinted photo to include on their name tag. The kids love to see their pictures alongside their names and enjoy recognizing and "reading" their friends' names as well. ... Not to mention that those photo name tags help the teacher weather the name-learning stage of the school year.

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