Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with these recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.
Join us
Alma cover

Alma and How She Got Her Name

Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela thinks that six is way too many names! But as she learns more about how her names connect her to her family, Alma becomes very proud of all her names.
Alma cover

How to Teach This Book

  1. In the author’s note for this book, Juana Martinez-Neal shares the history of her name and invites readers to share the story behind their own names. Use this opening for discussion to encourage students to learn more about their own name stories—how they came to be named, how they chose a nickname, or another story about their names.
  2. Ask students to interview family members to find out details about how and why they were given their names or acquired nicknames. Have students share their name stories with each other to further explore how naming is part of larger cultural traditions and how name-giving practices vary from culture to culture.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

  1. Is a name just another word, or it is something more?
  2. How closely is one’s identity connected to one’s name?
  3. Is your name connected to your family? How?
  4. What is the purpose of names? Why do we have them?
  5. Does your name help to make you who you are? Why or why not?
  6. Would you ever want to change your name? What new name would you choose?
  7. How would you feel if someone else decided that you would change your name?

Additional Resources for Teaching About the Origins of Names

Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with these recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.

Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
Mom and daughter reading

Help for Families During COVID-19

Families play a key role in helping students avoid the "COVID-19 slide." We've curated a collection of helpful resources and fun activities designed to keep at-home learners engaged and growing.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.