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“The Politics Of Naming”

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I teach lessons about “naming” in several of my classes. In Theory Of Knowledge, students examine the history of their names in the context of studying language. In ESL, it’s a great high-interest topic for creating language-learning opportunities, especially when we are studying the them of “family.” And, in ninth-grade, it works well in our Latin Studies units, especially when we are studying odes that relate to names.

In all these lessons, I also use resources on The Best Places For Students To Learn About…Their Names list.

Rethinking Schools just announced that “the Zinn Education Project has collaborated with StoryCorps to share resources on the Anglicizing of names.” You can find some great resources at that link.

They also shared this wonderful StoryCorps animation that I’ll certainly be using. Below that video, I’ve embedded a short video from the mini-series roots that I also use.

I’d love to hear if you have more resources on “name” lessons!

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. My favorite name activate revolves around

    “My Name” chapter from Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street

    Paired with

    Naming Myself” poem by Barbara Kingsolver in the bilingual volume of hers, Another America/Otra America

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