What’s In A Name?

I was excited to meet Ms. Deguilio and the 3-5 graders of Nathan Hale Elementary. Students kicked off their after school poetry residency this week by exploring names and their meanings. They were asked the questions “Why are names important” and “Can our names define us?” One student described how his name was passed down in his family from his father and grandfather. Another student commented on not liking her name and wishing she could change it.  By looking up their names online, students were surprised by their names origins (Hebrew, Greek, Italian ).

We read two poems “A girl named Jack,” by Jacqueline Woodson from her book Brown Girl Dreaming and “Alejandro” by Alejandro S an 8th grader from Haugan Elementary. In both poems the speakers described the stories behind their names and how their names related to their unique cultures, families, and personalities.

Together students had the opportunity to collaborate on a class poem, as well create their own individual poems about the power of names.  Every week new student work will be shared on our blog. Please enjoy our first week’s published poems.


Ms. Degiulio’s After School
Grades 3-5


Our Names (Class Poem)
By Grades 3-5

It’s short, only three letters
It’s often misspelled
I like how the “c” comes out
I want to be called “Dylan,” my middle name
I don’t like my first name because people call me
Even not Evan
I like my name because it means I am an animal
I like my name a lot because people like it
I like that its long

I don’t like my last name
because they misspell or say it wrong
I like that there are a lot of nicknames
Its often misspelled because they
think it’s a “m” at the end of my name
I like my name Kasia and my name is pretty

That Name
By Angela B.

You’re probably wondering
why my title is “That Name.”
My name comes from Latin.
Before my mom had my 3-4 siblings,
she talked about what to name me.
First, she wanted to name me Isabella
then Emma. Then she finally thought
of the name Angel.
Yes the angel like from God.
She thought about adding an “a” at the end
of the name “Angel,” so she got the name

My Name
By Matthew G.

My name is Matthew or Mateo.
My names means “gift of God,”
and yes I am Catholic.
My mom and dad name me
Matthew because I was born
on my dad’s birthday.
When teachers or friends first
meet see or hear my name
they ask if they can call me
Matthew or Matao,
or Mateo and Mat

I like my name because there are
a lot of nick names for it.
And I know to always to be me.

By Evan Q.

This poem is about my name.
My name is Evan.
My name means “God is gracious.”
My name is from Welsh.
I personally like my name because
it is short and it’s never misspelled.
But I don’t like my name because
people call me Even and not Evan
because it rhymes.
My name is from the bible.
I like my name because it’s easy
to spell and I like my name
because my name is old.
And I don’t act like what 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.