My Name Means

Basic Activity Info

Activity Type: 

  • Transition
Age Group: 
6-9 yrs
9-12 yrs
13+ yrs
Time Requirement: 

Group Size: 

  • Large Group
  • Medium Group
  • Small Group

Play Area: 

  • Classroom (small indoor space)
Adaptations icon.Adaptations icon.

For participants to get to know one another, by being creative with the letters in their names.


No equipment necessary.

Set Up: 

Have the participants get into partners, or choose the partners for them.

Step by Step: 
  1. Each pair has to come up with words that describe each participant by using the letters in their first name.
  2. As an example, Lindsay, could stand for "Loud, Young, Nerdy, Dreamer, Strong, Adventurous, Yearning"
  3. After each pair has determined which words they are going to use, everyone will share theirs with the class.
  4. For a more creative alternative, each pair has to come up with a silly phrase based on the letters in their first name.
  5. For example, "Lindsay could be "Lively young nurse dances Salsa all year"


Safety Considerations: 

Be sure the words they use to describe one another are not offensive in any way.


If someone has a long first name, they can use their last name, or a nickname they have. Instead of words to describe themselves, they can think of words that describe things they love to do that start with each letter of their first name. For example, Lindsay "Laughing, going on the InternetNappingDancing, Singing, Acting, Yawning".

Adaptations (General): 

There may be some who are shy or uncomfortable speaking in front of the group (e.g., those with a cognitive disability or those who are deaf or hard of hearing). Encourage these participants to be involved but respect that it may be challenging for them. Be patient and try to facilitate their involvement as much as you can.

Adaptations (Cognitive/Learning Impairment): 
Cognitive Disability Icon

It may be challenging for a person with a cognitive or learning disability to come up with words which describe another person based on the letters in their name. A simple adaptation might be to have the person describe their partner (e.g., Lindsay has blue eyes, is 9 years old and likes to play soccer).

Adaptations (Deafness/Hearing Impairment): 
Deafness Icon

In the case of a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, try to learn about their needs in advance. They may be able to speak, may have speech that is impaired, or may be nonverbal, needing to work through writing or sign language.


Alf Grigg, Seneca College