The Name Story
A person's name is an essential piece of his or her identity. This may be for various reasons including a connection to a culture, to a family member, a family story or a tradition. It may also be a ,a,rker of an individual's independence and self identity. Names matter for various reasons. One way to begin to know your students is through their names and the meanings behind them.
Arrange students into groups of no more than three.
- Explain to students that they are going to do a fun group activity where they will think about their name and how their names are apart of who they are.
- Hand out "The Name Story" to students and explain the directions on the paper for clarity.
- Students take a few minutes to complete the worksheet independently filling in the information with creative and descriptive words.
- After students have completed the name story, they will share their name story with the members of their group.
- Where does your name come from?
- Why did whoever named you pick this name?
- What does your name mean to you?
Some students may not know the story of how they got their names but they will have stries of what their name means to them, nick names they have, or names they have always wished were theirs and why.
Sample Name Story
MY NAME IS LAURIAN I WAS BORN IN KINGSTON JAMAICA. I WAS GIVEN THE NAME LAURIAN BY MY FATHER WHO THOUGHT IS WAS A GREAT IDEA TO GIVE ALL HIS DAUGHTERS NAMES THAT END WITH -AN OR -ON. THE CORRECT PRONUNCIATION OF MY NAME IS LA-RE- ANN WHICH MY FAMILY IN JAMAICA AND EVEN IN THE UNITED STATES USE. I ARRIVED IN THE UNITED STATES AT THE AGE OF ELEVEN (YOU KNOW THAT'S MIDDLE SCHOOL AGE, THE TIME WHERE NOTHING MADE SENSE AND EVERY THING ABOUT A PERSON IS UNDER A MICROSCOPE, OR AT LEAST SO I THOUGHT). I THOUGHT ABOUT THE FIRST THING THAT THE KIDS WOULD KNOW ABOUT ME AND THAT WOULD BE MY NAME. I THOUGHT ABOUT HOW MY FAMILY PRONOUNCED MY NAME AND DIDN'T WANT TO BE TEASED BECAUSE OF MY NAME. I COULDN'T CHANGE MY NAME ON MY OWN, RETURN HOME, OR BE HOME SCHOOLED, SO I CHANGED THE PRONUNCIATION OF MY NAME TO LORI-ANN BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT SOUND BETTER AT THE TIME.BACK THEN I DIDN'T KNOW THAT I WAS ERASING WHO I WAS, STARTING WITH MY NAME, BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE ACCEPTED. MY FATHER GAVE ALL MY SISTERS AND MYSELF SIMILAR NAMES FOR A PURPOSE (MAYBE ONE DAY HE WILL TELL ME).