Identity: who are we?

Swop Chairs If – Game

Time: 10 minutes +

Resources: None

Space: Chairs in a circle

All but one student should have a chair, the remaining student stands in the middle and says “swop chairs if” and then shares something about themselves. E.g. Swop chairs if: you have brown eyes / you go to an after school club / like shopping / said prayers this morning.

If the statement said by the person in the middle is true for anyone else in the circle they must swop chairs with someone else. The person in the middle will try to sit down also which should result in their being a new person in the middle who then restarts with their own “swop chairs if” statement.

Students will begin to notice they hold different aspects of their identity in common with many students in the class. If you notice any times when everyone walks, discuss the idea that this could form part of a class identity. After playing for a while ask the students how their identity is affected by the group identity of other people who share the characteristic.

Circles of Belonging – Group Discussion

Time: 10 minutes +
Resources: Marker Pens & paper
Space: Chairs in a circle

Still in a circle, ask each student to write each group they belong to on a piece of paper and put it in the middle of the circle. This could be clubs such as “the scouts” or could be less defined groups such as a racial or cultural group. Ask the students to look at everyone’s words and consider how they can be arranged so that similar words are together.

Ask the students which groups have the greatest affect on their identity, these should be moved towards the centre of the circle. Less important words should be moved towards the edge. E.g. the group might decide that their racial identity has a large impact on their identity so this would be near the middle whereas hobby groups might not be seen as quite as important. Start a group discussion about any controversial groups or groups that not everyone feels the same about. If they supported a different football team would this change who they were? What if instead of liking football they liked tennis, would this change who they were? How important is their identity of a class / group of students?

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