Chrysanthemum: Name Recognition Ideas and Name Practice Activities for Kindergarten


We all know and love the fantastic book “Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes, which celebrates the uniqueness of names and the power they hold in our classroom communities. Now, let’s dive into this blog post filled with creative ideas on how to use Chrysanthemum to promote name recognition and create a welcoming environment. Get ready to explore engaging activities, craft projects, and discussions that will make every student feel valued and appreciated for their special name. Let’s continue the magic of Chrysanthemum in our classrooms!

(Disclosure: Some of links below are affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)

Read and Chat

If you haven’t done so already, grab yourself a copy of Chrysanthemum.  It’s such a beautiful story about a little mouse with a special name, just like each of our students. After reading, we can have a lively discussion about the power of names, how unkind words can hurt, and the importance of embracing our unique selves. Get ready for some amazing conversations and heartfelt stories, and remember to keep everyone’s focus on names!

Counting Letters

Write out student names twice on sentence strips.  Give both sets of names out, and have students cut apart the letters in their names on one strip.  Have them lay out the letters in front of them and count them.  You can then compare the length of names, shortest names, longest names, who has the same number of letters in their names, etc.  You can use the whole name sentence strip for graphing numbers of letters in names, or you can display the names like a staircase from shortest to longest.

Comparing Letters

Encourage students to compare the letters in their names with their classmates. Create a chart or a Venn diagram to show the similarities and differences. For example, they can find out how many names start with the same letter, how many have the same letter in the middle, or how many end with the same letter. This activity promotes letter recognition, critical thinking, and data analysis skills while encouraging collaboration and appreciation for the uniqueness of each student’s name.

Let’s Get Crafty with this Chrysanthemum Name Activity!

This editable flower craft can be personalized so that you can program the worksheets with each child’s name! Nothing is more important to young students than their own names, and this craft is the perfect keepsake!  Once everyone has their own page of letters and flower center, give them crayons to make their flower personal.  Then have them cut out the elements and glue on a piece of paper to make their own name flower. Such a great craft for the beginning of the school year!  Click here to learn more!

Chrysanthemum is such a fantastic way to foster a positive and inclusive classroom community where every student feels valued and appreciated for their unique identity. And don’t forget to check out the amazing craft activity resource I created for us – it will make our classroom bloom with joy! Keep spreading the magic of individuality and creating an inclusive learning environment where every student feels loved and valued. We’re making a difference, one name at a time!

Looking for more back to school activities based on literature?  Check out this Kissing Hand post for first day big feelings!





My name is Mandy and I’ve been creating fun crafts since I began teaching waaaaay back in 1993! If, like me, you believe that hands-on arts and crafts are essential to child development, then you’ve come to the right place!