Monday, November 21, 2011

What's In a Name Tag: Artistic Expression and Social Justice for LGBT Students

Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable. W. H. Auden

I attended session L.04 "MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES OF INQUIRY IN A SOCIAL JUSTICE CLASSROOM: USING MULTI-MODAL TECHNIQUES WITH AND FOR LGBT YOUTH" during NCTE and want to share some of the projects I acquired during the session. The subject of this post is "Name Tag Project."

The idea is for students to create a nametag that represents them. Here's the procedure:

1. Use a notecard or "real" nametag.

2. The student's name should be the focus of the nametag.

3. Add words and images that reveal something about oneself on the perimiter of the nametag. Think about arrangement when adding details. For example, a student may want to create a "found poem" for his/her nametag.

4. Other considerations: think about a theme for the nametag, consider adding 3D elements to the nametag, be unique and creative.

The images below show some examples the presenters used during their session:

I'm planning to use this project in my speech classes early in the trimester as an introductory presentation.

I can also see this project as a way to prepare students for class interviews of other classmates or characters. For example, teachers may want to have students create nametags for characters in a novel; next, students can interview one another about the various images and words on the nametag and what each reveals about the character, citing textual evidence for their responses.

Thank you, Jamie Rhein, for this artistic way of expressing ourselves.

I'm interested in hearing other variations on this idea.


  1. What a great project to do in your classes! I've seen a similar project done in college public relations courses. Great for illustrating "fit" of teammates in group projects.

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