What’s In a Name? Inquiry Project

Step One: Watch the trailer for this film about Malala Yousafzai. How does her name’s meaning and origins relate to her character and identity?

Step Two: What makes up a person’s identity? What defines your identity? Here’s the anchor chart we made in class.

11:3 Identity Anchor Chart

Step Three: Create an identity web. Here’s an example: Ms. McMillan’s Identity Web

Step Four: Take your identity web home. Talk to a caring adult about his or her identity. Click here for directions.

Step Five: Research the origins, meanings, and significance of your name. Interview family members; check name sites online; and look through “baby name” books, dictionaries, and other reference books. Think about how what you discover relates to your identity. See the writing prompt below for more information.

Check out this Sqworl for name sites that have worked in the past: http://sqworl.com/jng8mw

For research note taking sheets, click here.

Step Six: After you research, write a report with your findings. Be sure to cite your sources. For an example, read my essay below:


Ready for More? Create a personal logo or brand. Your logo should somehow reflect your name and identity. Check out these sites for examples:

Experiment with your logo by creating ten or more thumbnail sketches. When you finalize your idea, make a final illustration—this may be done on paper or using a digital tool such as Google Drawings, Doodle Buddy, or Paper 53

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