Topic one: individual purpose
to the teacher
This topic will need to extend to a second period with homework
and other preparation between.
The significance of personal names, both historically and culturally,
make this topic ideal as a multi-cultural exercise, particularly
with classes where there are different cultural backgrounds represented.
Cross-curricular work with the R.E. department would also be appropriate
in connection with the study of Rites of Passage or the first chapters
of Genesis (naming of animals).
It is important that through this topic on personal names, each
member of the class begins to develop a sense of individual identity,
self-worth, dignity, and thereby recognises that he/she has a unique
contribution to make to society.
Names are far more important than would appear at first sight.
Our names indicate who we are and to which family we belong. They
also give a sense of continuity by connecting us with the past and
taking us into the future. We will be remembered in the future by
Ask the class the following:
• Why do we need names?
• Why do we feel strange on the first day at a new school?
• Why do we get annoyed when someone, who should know our
name, forgets it or mixes us up with someone else?
• Do any of the class have nicknames? Why do we give people
nicknames? Do they know any famous people with nicknames? How did
they get them?
Read to them the excerpt from Roots on resource
sheet 1 (page 6) A naming ceremony. Discuss
why the naming was so important to Omoro.
Give the pupils worksheet 1 (page 3)
What's in a name? which has some simple basic questions
on this subject. When they have completed the first side, discuss
particularly what they have written under d and