The purpose of this activity is to get to know people’s name on a more personal level through storytelling.
- An icebreaker activity on the first day of class or group meeting.
- Learning about people’s lived experience and culture.
- Helping people remember each other’s name by attaching a story to it.
- Building relationships of trust in a new group.
- Creating a safe space for people to share about their background.
- No preparation needed by participants.
- Facilitator could create a slide with name of activity and questions.
- Describe activity and why doing it: namely, invite each participant in turn to tell a story about any part of their name (first name, last name, middle name, nickname)
- Tell people why you find it interesting and helpful to hear the story of someone’s name
- Explain they can share as much or little as they are comfortable
- Pose some questions to spark what story they want to share
- How was your name chosen?
- Were you named after someone?
- Does it have any cultural or historical meaning?
- Is there a story or experience related to your name you would like to share?
- Let them know it can be first name, and/or last name
- Let them know they have 2 minutes to share. If using Zoom you can set a timer.
- If people are going into a breakout room ask that someone be assigned as timer, note taker, and person who will share back.
- Set up a collaborative document such as a Google doc or OneDrive so that the small groups can write down their stories. Then add in a shared space so that others can read everyone’s story at a later time.
- If less than 10 people you can facilitate as whole group.
- If more than 10 people, suggest putting people into groups of 3-4.
- 3-5 minutes explaining the activity, why you are doing it, and putting people into groups if needed.
- 2 minutes per person to share story.
- If people shared in small groups 1-2 minutes for each group to share something back that they learned.
- 5 minutes to wrap-up and highlight importance of what they learned, how connects to the community and ways they will be working together.
ADAPTATIONS AND EXAMPLES
- Alternative tools could be an asynchronous discussion tool such as Voicethread, Flipgrid, Yellowdig or LMS discussion.
- An adaptation could be sharing the story of a nick-name.
- If a large group suggest using breakout rooms.
- Google docs or other collaborative tools can be used as a way for small groups to share their stories in their small group, and then they can be shared so the whole class can see them.