Choosing a Name for the Foundation

What is the value of a name? Students discuss the meaning and purpose that is communicated in the name of an organization and the names of people. 

Print50 minutes

The learner will:

  • research the function of the family name and first name.
  • research the symbolic importance of the name of at least one country.
  • state the purpose of the foundation.
  • brainstorm several suggestions for a name. Vote on the final name.
  • connect the mission of the foundation and the name selected.
Home Connection: 
  • What is the story behind your name? How do you feel about your own name?
  1. Conduct research with the students to find out why Martin Luther King, Jr. was given his name. You may read this article together and discuss the significance of his name. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/17/martin-luther-king-jr-name_n_6481554.html 

    Discuss whether a name influences who we are. Does a name influence first impressions of who we are? 

  2. Have students discuss the widespread use of the name George Washington for schools, streets, towns, cities, malls and other places in this nation. Discuss what other names are used locally and why.  

  3. After defining the purpose of the student-run foundation (see previous lesson), brainstorm possible names for the foundation.
    Develop some guidelines for "good" or "not so good" names (catchy not wordy; suitable for publicity or use of initials, clarity of purpose, pride in group).

    Have students decide how to choose the name. Use that process to make a decision.

  4. Brainstorm ways to publicize the foundation's work and existence.

  • How can your foundation empower you?
  • How can your grants empower other students?
  • What would you like to call your foundation and why? 
  • How can you and your foundation members let other students and staff know about your foundation's purpose and existence?
  • How does picking a name as part of a group compare with picking a name by yourself?