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New Names

Think like an advertiser and come up with new names to replace familiar ones.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Ask students to generate a list of names of something familiar, such as car models and makes, clothing, shampoo, toys, or food. Where do these names come from? Discuss ideas about why manufacturers chose to name their products with these names. Challenge students to investigate how some of these names were chosen. Share strategies for selling products based on a name or image.
    2. Organize small groups. Invite each group to think of new names for some of the products they have listed.
    3. Use Crayola® Metallic FX Crayons to make a two-column chart on construction paper to record your own new names for familiar products. Write familiar product names in Crayola Metallic Colored Pencil in the left column under the heading Old Name. To the right of each old name write your new and improved product name in Crayola Gel Markers in a New Name column. Make the new name appealing and write it in a way that will catch the eye.
    4. With classmates, students do a survey to find out which five products students in your class would most like to buy based on their new names. Tally and analyze the results.
    5. Students work in small groups to discuss factors made the most popular new products so appealing. As a result of the discussion, students write a list of "guidelines" for naming a new product.
    6. Each group shares their guidelines. A whole class discuss follows focused on the most effective guidelines from each group.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Summarize and describe distributions.

    SS: Give examples that show how scarcity and choice govern our economic decisions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Expand the student survey to include an entire grade level or even an entire school to determine most popular products and why they are purchased. Organize and analyze results. Report to the class, as well as the entire group surveyed, your findings.

    Redesign a frequently used product that students feel needs updating. Students also design an advertisement or commercial for the updated product.

    Students work in small groups to design a new product for a specific market, such as games for pre-schoolers or a new food for high school students. Design the product, packaging, and propose promotional materials.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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