Identity map


    The students are able to reflect on their own identity and those of others. The students are able to reflect on their own identity as being something complex.

  • TIME:

    30 mins


    Pens and paper. Cards with three events.



Hand each student one piece of paper and ask them to write their name in the middle of the sheet. They should then answer the question “What makes up who you are?” by writing down a few keywords around their name.

Main part

Distribute three cards with the following texts written on them:

While travelling abroad you are having difficulty making yourself understood.
You are badly hurt in a road accident and end up in a wheelchair.
You discover that you are adopted.

The students should look at the texts they have been given and answer the following questions:

  1. Which aspects of your “identity map” would have been affected by these events?
    (Circle the keywords in question. You may also cross out words or add new ones.)
  2. Turn to those next to you and discuss what this exercise says about who you are.
  3. Which aspects of your identity can be affected by external events? Are there aspects that you consider unchangeable regardless of the circumstances?


Suggested discussion after the exercise:

  • Were there differences in how the students felt the three events would affect their identity? How can these differences be interpreted?
  • To what extent is our perception of ourselves dependent on external factors and affirmation by others?
  • Look again at what you have written about yourself on your identity map. Which of them do you think you would be able to eliminate? Which of them do you consider to be “inborn”?