Tools, Strategies, and Resources, continued
The Name Game
• To understand how cultures are reflected in names
and naming practices.
• To increase cultural awareness of self and others.
Paper and pencils are helpful but not essential. Chart padding
is also helpful during report-out.
Have participants divide into groups of three or four and
share with each other information about their names and naming practices
in their families by discussing these issues:
- How they were named
and the history behind their first and last names. For example:
Were they named after someone? Is
this a common
in their families? Is their first name reflective of
a particular ethnic or linguistic heritage? Is their first name spelled
or pronounced differently
in various cultural groups?
- Does their last name reflect
a particular ethnic or linguistic heritage? Was their family surname
changed in any way
upon coming to the U.S.?
Does anyone have a name that is frequently mispronounced?
If so, how does this make them feel?
- What names have they given their children? Did they
have special reasons for naming their children what
Do their children’s names
reflect any ethnic or linguistic heritage? Did they
deliberately anglicize their children’s names
discussing their names and naming practices reveal
anything about their cultural heritage? If so,
in names and naming?
Have one person from each group
report to the whole group about cultural learnings gleaned from this
Cultural practices affect us from the very
moment we enter life. In some cultures, great significance is placed
while in other cultures, value is placed on the uniqueness
or popularity of the name. One practice is no better than