Lesson Notes


Origins of names
In the UK, there has been a long-standing custom of calling children after figures in the Bible or from among the saints. Children now come from many different cultures and you can encourage them to find out the meanings of their names and why their parents chose them.

Traditional British surnames (also called “second” and “last” names) likewise had an original meaning. Many are lost in time, but some are still easily detected.

Typically, British surnames came from relationships (e.g. Williams and Williamson: “son of William“, Jones and Johnson: “son of John”, McGregor: “son of Gregory”, Campbell: from the Campbell clan); a trade (Smith, Baker, Miller), or a place name (Westbury, Newton, Thornycroft, Greenfield

Sensitivities in teaching this topic
It is important to take the trouble to pronounce children’s names correctly. Children may want to be known by a nickname or an abbreviation. Equally, they may not.

Surnames can be a delicate issue, for instance where the father has disappeared, or where the mother takes the name of a new partner. Siblings from the same family (some of whom may be at the school) can have different surnames. It is not the name but the family relationships which are at issue. Helping children to take pride in their name before they are aware of the sensitivities can help them to become more resilient

Lesson plan

Charlie and Alice course book:
Chapter 1, “I’m called Charlie” (pp. 4-5).
• Start at the beginning, showing the children the cover of the book.
• Explain the characters, pp. 2-3.
• Turn to Chapter 1, “I am called Charlie”, pp. 4-5.
Get the children to look at and comment on the pictures.
• Read the story.
• Get the children to retell the story

Full length photographs of the pupils
[Lesson notes]
A5 sized red and white card [1]
Camera/phone [1]
IWB pictures [Reflection]
Large piece of paper [Reflection]