Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company

Classroom Exercise: What’s in a Name?

One of the keys to Classroom Management is getting students to work well together.

Group work is tricky if students don’t know one another. Why should I share something with this guy who doesn’t say two words in class?

Over the next four weeks the Saturday Exercises will act as building blocks toward a more cohesive group through activities that will help your students learn about each other.

Sometimes the simplest way for a class to get to know each other starts with a name. Names are such an identifying marker. Do you like your name? Why did your parents choose it? Does it have a family/historical significance?


This is a pairs activity. Each pair shares their names (first and middle) with each other as well as the reason the name was chosen. If a student doesn’t know the reason, they should speculate. They should also discuss what they like and/or don’t like about their names.

Adding on: If your class has Internet access, each pair researches the origin and meaning of their name.

Each pair presents their partner’s name to the class. What did they learn about the name in their time together?

Exercise: Creating Character Names

The same principle can be applied to creating character names. Character names should come from somewhere and mean something.

  • Divide students into groups.
  • Hand out a Creating Character Names Sheet to each group. Each sheet has descriptions of four different characters.
  • Each group reads the descriptions and then unanimously come up with a character name based on the description.
  • Give a time limit for this exercise. Encourage students to work quickly and emphasize that their decision has to be unanimous.
  • Have the groups contrast and compare their name choices. Which groups came up with similar names? What was the reasoning behind each group’s choices?
Click here for a printable version of this exercise
Download For Free

Related Articles

Classroom Exercise: Round Robin
Classroom Exercise: Round Robin
Classroom Exercise: Fear In A Hat
Classroom Exercise: Fear In A Hat
Classroom Exercise: Whaddya Know?
Classroom Exercise: Whaddya Know?

Enjoy a Front Row Seat to Our Newsletter!

Subscribe for our exciting updates, insights, teaching resources, and new script releases. Plus, sign up now and get 4 plays and 2 lesson plans for FREE!

Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company
Theatrefolk is the Drama Teacher Resource Company. We are your one stop shop for Plays, Resources, and Curriculum Support - all specifically designed for High School and Middle School drama teachers.
Follow Us!
Drama Teacher Academy
Copyright © 1995-2024