I hope that your week is going well. Today, after a discussion about the meaning of names, I felt inspired to search for a lesson plan about the reverence given to the naming process in Africa. Sometimes, people ridicule African names because they may be difficult to pronounce. It is important that we teach our children respect for names, no matter how different that they may sound.
For instance, in Nigeria, Abayomiolorunkoje is one name for a boy from the Yoruba ethnic group. In America, a boy may be teased for having a name so complex. However, in Yoruba, the name means, “People wanted to humiliate me, but God does not allow [it]”.
Follow the link for an awesome lesson plan on Yoruba names, appropriate for students 2nd grade and above. One note: the link to the Smithsonian website within the lesson plan did not work, so you can visit this site (http://www.onlinenigeria.com/nigeriannames/Yoruba.asp) for a list of Yoruba names and their meanings.
This lesson plan can also be adjusted for discussion on Akan day names (http://www.twi.bb/akan-names.php). The Akan people in Ghana oftentimes name their children based on the days that the children were born. It would be very simple to have an Akan naming ceremony as part of a unit about Ghana.
Enjoy, and all feedback is welcomed.