What’s In A Name?

Sharing and discussing our names is a great starting point for a discussion about identity. We can think and talk about;

  • how we got them,
  • what they mean,
  • their history and etymology,
  • when and why people change their names
  • the stories they tell,
  • how others respond to them,
  • misunderstandings and worries arising from our names
  • feelings and memories associated with them,

and our changing connection to our names as we travel with them through our lives. Students can investigate how they were named and consider the significance their names have for them and others.

Lesson Idea

How Did I become Me?

This  teaching resource on the Making Multicultural Australia website uses two short videos as the basis for a discussion about the significance of names and naming to identity. This lesson could be adapted to include more up to date  videos .A case study and question sheet is included.

Food For Thought

Below are some images and videos which could be used as a starting point for discussing names and identity.

Femi Amogunla- “My Name My Identity”



What’s your take?

I have been contemplating the significance of my own name while writing this post and soon realised that my name is deeply enmeshed with my identity and a wellspring of stories and memories.
How important is your name to your story?


By Barbara Schaffer