A name is more than just a series of letters strung together. It carries weight, as it is the essence of one's identity. Names have a significant impact on how one perceives oneself and is perceived by others. Therefore, understanding the meaning behind their names can provide young learners valuable insight into who they are and who they can become.
To begin, the teacher asks students to close their eyes and conjure an image in their minds as they say a series of words, inserting student names here and there. This exercise demonstrates how a name can evoke a particular image or impression.
Following the exercise, the teacher leads a conversation about the impact of names on self-perception. The teacher stresses the importance of having a positive self-concept and a good name—two invaluable assets that go hand in hand in shaping a person's sense of value and belonging.
The teacher then proceeds to look up each child’s name at names.org or behindthename.com and shares the meaning with them. Grade 1 students who know the meanings of their names are encouraged to share with the class, while others ask their parents.
"This lesson helps the students learn to take ownership of their names, understand how these can shape their identity, and how they can use these to make a positive impact in the world."
After the sharing session, the students are given paper and asked to print their names neatly. The teacher instructs them to illustrate the pages with the meanings of their names. They are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity to develop unique interpretations, allowing them to understand the significance of their names while exercising their creativity.
Finally, the teacher asks first graders to close their eyes once more, think of their names, and bring an image to their minds. The teacher then encourages them to share their thoughts on how they can improve that image.
This lesson helps the students learn to take ownership of their names, understand how these can shape their identity, and how they can use these to make a positive impact in the world. It's more than just a name; it's a vital part of who they are and understanding that can empower them to be the best version of themselves.