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Naming ceremonies

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Topic: Naming ceremonies

Learning Outcomes

Exploring the rites and ceremonies associated with a variety of belief systems



To introduce the lesson, I will ask a few of the children their names, I will then ask them where they got their names from and if  they celebrated it (to elicit baptism etc.) I will then begin to discuss how special and important our names are to us. I will share with  the children that I am named after my Aunt. The children will share any stories they have about where their name comes from and if they have any nicknames with a partner and then report back to the class.


I will then explain that different religions have different celebrations  when they are naming a baby. We will go through a PowerPoint all about Christianity and baptism. I will place emphasis on key things involved e.g. holy water, candle,  gown etc. I will show them my candle from my baptism. I will ask the class if they have ever attended a baptism and to share their experiences (a few have recently been to baby  sibling’s baptisms). After this we will discuss baptism and look at a word mat with all key words and images on it.


The children will  then design their own name leaves to be later displayed. They will draw things that they like on their name leaves to show their uniqueness.


Other Resources for teaching this topic

The next two lessons would focus on the naming ceremonies in Buddhism and hinduism and comparing all  three for similarities and differences.

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Naming Ceremonies across the World

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Naming ceremonies across the World

LT focus: Learn the rites of passage across societies


In a circle time form, ask the children how they came to have their name.

Are they named after family members? Does their name come from the time of their birth? Is there name a traditional name? Does their name have a meaning?

During which ceremony (if any) was their name made official? Baptism? Krustaba (Latvian)? Itiq (innuit)?

Ask the children to bring in photos of their ceremony for display in the Learn Together corner


For this lesson the children will be exploring the different naming ceremonies performed across the globe.

Give each group of 2/3 an envelope containing a different ceremony/ ritual.

Such as (but not limited to):

  • Australian/ Aborigine
  • Buddhist
  • Chinese
  • Christian
  • Hindu
  • Humanist
  • Innuit
  • Jewish
  • Latvia
  • Muslim
  • Nigerian Yoruba
  • Pagan
  • Sikh

The children could create a short and quick Pages document to share with the class later in the week.

These should include Photos, testimonials, costumes, traditions, etc


The children could present their findings to the class or to an assembly

Other teacher resources for teaching this topic: