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Belonging in Groups

Create a collage showing how a group you belong to shapes your identity.

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Suggested Activities

This challenge helps students understand how groups influence identity. Show students pictures of groups of people (e.g., dancers, teams, religious or cultural groups, community organizations, families) and solitary individuals. Explain that a group is a collection of several people who share something in common or who work together to meet each others' needs or for a common purpose. Indicate that people are partly shaped by the groups they belong to. Talk about groups you belong to (e.g., teams, staff, family, friends, clubs) and share pictures or objects that symbolize these groups (e.g., football, family picture, school logo, picture of friends doing a group activity). Emphasize that the groups you belong to provide "clues" as to your identity–help others figure out who you are as a person and what is important to you. Begin by suggesting that all of them are members of the class, which is a group. Belonging to this group tells us that they are students, that they go to school and perhaps other things, such as they like to have fun (recess) or listen to stories.

Invite students to identify the groups of which they are members. Be alert to the possibility that some students may feel that they do not "fit in" or really belong in groups. Help them see that very small, informal groups (e.g., families, friends they met on a trip, people who share a hobby) are groups. Record students' suggested groups and ask the class to guess how the groups contribute to their classmates' identities. You may find it useful to provide a sentence frame (e.g., John belongs to/is a member of a soccer team because he likes to play soccer. This gives a clue that running, team sports and playing outdoors are part of the student's identity).

Ask students to identify from the class-generated list one or more groups that they belong to individually and create a collage with images (drawn, painted, cut-out) showing "clues" about the groups and how being members helps shape their identity. Before students begin, generate criteria for an appealing collage (e.g., no white spaces, lots of images, images provide "clues" to identity).

Conduct a "What's my identity?" gallery walk with finished collages. Conceal the names and invite pairs of students to identify the artists of two or three collages and to explain what the collage might tell of their identities A response form may be helpful (e.g., This is __________'s collage. It tells us that ________________, ________________, and ________________ are part of his or her identity.)

Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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