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Lesson Plan

Avalanche, Aztek, or Bravada? A Connotation Minilesson

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Avalanche, Aztek, or Bravada? A Connotation Minilesson

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time 50 minutes
Lesson Author

Traci Gardner

Traci Gardner

Blacksburg, Virginia


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology






General classroom supplies (paper, pens, pencil, etc.)

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  • Prepare overheads or handouts; or arrange to present materials on the board.

  • Explore these background Websites for additional material on the automobile industry's naming practices and to familiarize yourself with current automobile model names:

    • Super-secret car name decoder story: This CNNMoney.com article discusses the ways that cars are named.

    • Creating Great Product or Company Names: IGOR, a naming and branding agency, provides an overview of the process that their consultants follow as they help a client name a product or service. The site provides great insight into how names are chosen for products.

    • Cars.com: This commercial site, related to the NPR radio show Car Talk, includes pull-down menus that list car makes and models. While you'll want to avoid the e-commerce options at the site, used carefully, you might visit these pages to help students compile lists of current names used by the automobile industry.

    • Build Your Ford Website: Students might use this site to create specifications for custom cars, which they then propose names for. Naturally, the cars on the Ford site will already have names, but students can use the information at the site to think through the various choices.

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