My Name Is Yoon

Last updated Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Author: Helen Recovits
Illustrator: Gabi Swiatkowska
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0374351147
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Aug. 2006

Synopsis: Yoon's name means Shinning Wisdom and written in Korean it looks nice and happy. However, Yoon doesn't like it written in English because it looks sad to her which is the way she feels in her new country. Can Yoon find a new happy name like bird, cat or cupcake?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Find Korea on the map. Where do you or your parents (or grandparents) come from? Find those places on the map.
•  Do any of you have names that mean something? Or were you named after someone in particular?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does Yoon like her name better written in Korean?
•  Have you ever wanted a different name?
•  Have you ever gone away somewhere and been homesick?wanted to go home again?
•  Have you ever seen Korean writing? (Maybe in Koreatown?)
•  Have you ever made friends with someone new?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of a bird, dog and/or cat. Label each with the English words bird, dog and cat. Underneath them, write the words for bird and dog using Korean alphabet characters. The word for bird is sae and the word for dog is gae. The necessary characters are attached. If you know how to write the words in Spanish (p?jaro and perro), write those, too. N.B. The Korean alphabet, while it uses characters similar to those of Chinese and Japanese, is alphabet-based, rather than pictographic.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!