Grades K-2
Grades 3-5
Social Studies

The Story of My Name

Engage students in a conversation about names, and what they can reveal about our values, culture, and community.

Activity Partner
Total time estimate:
30-60 minutes
Activity Objectives
  • Students will reflect on the meaning and significance of their name, as well as any related feelings, experiences, and memories
  • Then, students will share the story of their name with their classmates, and explore what they can learn about others' history, community, culture, and values from their stories

This activity supports the development of the following
social-emotional skills: self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.


Guide students through an exploration of their name by asking questions such as: 

  • What is your name? How is it pronounced? 
  • Where does it come from? What is its meaning or significance?
  • What does your name mean to you personally? What feelings, experiences, or memories do you associate with your name?
  • Do you have a nickname that you want to share? How did you get this nickname? 

It may be helpful for students to also discuss these questions with their family members and caregivers. After, prompt students to use these guiding questions to share the story of their name. For example, students might create artwork, write a poem or story, or collect words and images in a collage.


Share your students’ stories with your Empatico partner class (e.g., through a live virtual exchange or a tool like Flipgrid, Wakelet, Gimkit Ink, or Padlet). Invite students to share more about their names and ask each other questions.


Guide students through a post-activity reflection by asking the following questions: 

  • How did you decide to share the story of your name? What feelings did you notice during this process, and what memories or experiences came to mind? 
  • What did you discover about your classmates from the stories that they shared? Were there any similarities between your stories? 
  • What can we learn about someone from their name? What do our names represent about our history, community, culture, and values?
Did you finish this activity? We'd love your input.