Not Your Average Name Tag

I’ve been doing a lot lately with helping the boys appreciate each other’s differences. I wanted to give them a chance to see some positive things about their classmates and communicate these through praise and compliments.


And because I was on a lack of creativity, I called this lesson . . . .

Name Tags

Topics Covered: Caring, Responsible Behavior, Cultural Awareness, Problem-Solving, Communication Skills


Quite honestly you could probably do this lesson with a lot of the intermediate grades. I stuck to using it only with my 4th graders.


To start the lesson, I reviewed the concept of praise or compliments. What do they sound like? How should it make someone feel? When do you use them? Who are the people that like to praise us? What about you would you like people to praise?


I had the boys move their desks into a circle (this was probably the biggest ordeal of them all) and passed out a white piece of paper and a marker to each boy. The paper had each boy’s name written in the center (I hate that I had to block out the boys’ names on my examples because it’s hard to visualize, but you know¬† . . . confidentiality). I explained that we were going to pass the paper around the circle and write a compliment on the “name tag.” Each boy got to start with his own and praise himself for something he thought he did well, etc. After the paper had been all the way around the circle, each boy had a compliment/praise from every one of his classmates.


Then, we reflected on what they had noticed. Were there compliments/praise that unintentionally hurt us or felt like criticism? What were some special ways people praised us? What were some of the best compliments? Did any of the compliments surprise you?


It was interesting to see how they complimented each other on things inside and outside of school.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorites:


“I love the way you play guitar.”


“You can do the splits.”


“You’re fun to talk with.”


“My football man.”

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