Using the Extended Name Tag to Explore Student Identities

underlying principles Oct 03, 2022

Welcome to a new school year! By now your students are getting to know each other pretty well, and you have laid the foundation for your classroom culture. Part of creating an inclusive and supportive classroom community is to understand and value students’ identities.

Every person has layers that make up their personal identity. Norton describes identity as “how a person understands his or her relationship to the world, how that relationship is constructed across time and space, and how the person understands possibilities for the future.” Identity is made up of a person’s experiences, memories, values and beliefs, culture(s), and language(s).

When educators embrace all the facets of all the students’ identities it creates the equitable and supportive environment where learning thrives. When multi-cultural multi-lingual students come to school and feel like they have to leave parts of themselves at the classroom door to fit in, it creates a dissonance that translates internally into who they are and what they can become.

The first step to create an equitable supportive classroom is to get to know all the wonderful layers of your students.

The Project GLAD® strategy Extended Name Tag is an activity you can do to build cross-cultural respect in your classroom. It provides a springboard for rich conversations between students to identify similarities and differences.

 Extended Name Tag

  • Students write their name in the center of a paper
  • Include prompts (written or given verbally) for each quadrant of the paper
  • Students sketch and write their answers
  • Give time for students to share their responses with teams or partners
  • Share one corner, go to next person, etc

Think about prompts that go beyond favorite color and favorite food

  • What is a smell found at your house during the holidays?
  • What is something you have done in your life where you had to be brave?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to communicate in a language that was unfamiliar to you?
  • What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  • What are your hopes for the future?

Have fun getting to know your students and celebrating them for the beautiful mosaics they are! Thanks for reading!

Jody & Sara


50% Complete

Monthly Tips Soon Heading Your Way 

Get ready to enjoy your monthly momentum boosts and skill builder tips!