‘My grandfather says my name beautifully./ It almost sounds like a wind chime./’: A Name Game

Students explored their names through a series of writing prompts after reading My Name (from the poetic novel, The House on Mango Street) by Sandra Cisneros. What does your name mean? What is the story behind it? Who says it most beautifully? Who says it most like you? How does it sound when you have done something wrong? How many letters does it have and what else comes in sets of the same number?

Lesson Note: ‘I like for students to meditate on their names. I want them to think about who they are and what they want to announce to the world.’ -John S. O’Connor, Wordplaygrounds: Reading, Writing & Performing Poetry in the English Classroom.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 2

A. H.

My last name means anything
you think it means.
To me it means ‘tough’ because
I got my last name from my
uncle in the army.
My last name is originated from:
Wales. Ireland. France. Scotland.
I’ve never been to any of
those palces although i’d be
willing to travel all around
to those palces.
My last name isn’t really unknown
Langston Hughes has the same last
I feel like most people have original
names and I have a uncommon
last name which I feel I
enjoy having.
For the nickname i’m
not sure I have one

Louis G.

My nickname is Nano
It means very small
The reason I was named
this was becuase I was very
small growing up
but now I am almost taller
than my dad
I know no one who shares the same
nickname that I know of
that makes me feel like I’m special
and not in the Bill Gates way (no offense)
Although Nano is my favorite name out of
my real name I don’t know how to write it
in cursive I write Luis or Luis but I’ve
never taught myself to write Nano in cursive
and its not the name I should be writing on my school paper
My mother’s last name is Villanueva
which I am luck that I do not have to write everyday
all though its very satisfying writing it
Villanueva, Villanueva, Villanueva, Villanueva, Villanueva
I like writing it, but I never get the chance to,
I share my name with a famous soccer player
I think he is OK but not the best.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
Group 3

Damian M.

My name comes from a Mexican name I wasn’t name
because of someone. No one told me the story of my name. My middle name comes from
my father’s real name. People have different names for me outside fo school. People know that I’m
Mexican but they never picure how I look like. The person that says my name the
best is one of my friends. My name has
six letters in it. The color that my name makes
me think of is black. I wouldn’t change
my name I would keep it the same.

Alex G.

My name has not specific meaning. it
came from my parent. Named after no
one really. I can assume they are a
short person with attitude. My parents
argued.. My mother wanted me to
be Diego but my father didn’t
agree that I deserved such punishment.
My middle name comes from
my grandfather
My name is Alexander
however people call me Alex and
it’s better that way. I’ve no
nicknames besides Alex. My sister
says my name the way I might.
My grandfather says my name beautifully.
It almost sounds like a wind chime.
People speak my name angrily when
a mistake is made. I’ve got 4
letters in my name like
‘rock’ My name would be made
of really old paper. If I could
my name would be Elijah. I
believe it’s got a very nice
sound when it comes from my mouth.

Mrs. Strus
7th Grade

Nathan H.

I don’t know where my name comes from
There are lots of people with my name not only some.
My parents just chose this name.
No one in my family is named the same.
I don’t know the history of my last name.
I just know my family is where it came
I name myself Romella
Not a lot only to some fello’s
But that is my name in the middle
It ain’t too hard to say it ain’t a riddle
Everyone says my name the best
It ain’t hard to say
I’m also name Nate which is okay
My name has 6 letters in it.
It ain’t that long it’ll fit.

Vivana R.

I was told my name meant
bubbly or full of life
I’m still unsure if I agree
with that, but I guess it’s alright.
I kinda wish my name was associated
with someoen else well some on famous
Alot of people call me Vivi
and I’m glad they do my full
name sounds weird when they say it
some people say my full name nice
I guess the nickmane started
because my little cousins couldn’t
say the full thing so they made a shortcut
My parents told me they each had
two names but couldn’t decide which
one to choose so . They made a
coin flip to decide and that’s
how I got my name.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.