Lesson Plan

Identity Project

After reading The Color of Water by James McBride and discussing identity as it is conveyed in the memoir, students will create a web page that represents critical elements of their own identities.
Stephanie H.
Classroom teacher
Rancho Buena Vista High School
Vista, United States
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My Grades 9, 11
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to...explore their own identities and express them through art and writing.

English Language Arts
Grades 11
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Show students The Race Card Project website. Discuss the various ways people connect to identity.

2 Direct Instruction

Go over the instructions with students and give them staggered due dates for each component.

3 Guided Practice

Activity: Conversing

Give students the discussion questions and have them go over them at their tables.

Student Instructions

Identity Group Discussion

  • What defines identity? Most people agree it includes one or more of the following: a shared heritage, a common belief system and a set of similar physical characteristics. What other things do you think it includes?

  • Is identity something we're born with, something we invent for ourselves, something we're given by others, or a combination of these things?

  • Should people be allowed to discriminate against others based on their ethnic/religious/ sexual/etc. identities, or should there be laws to prevent it? If so, in what cases?

  • The United States has been called a "melting pot." What does this mean?

  • What are the benefits of living with people with different identities?

  • What are the difficulties?

  • Throughout history, millions have been abused or killed based on their unique identities. If we could somehow all be the same, would things be easier?

  • What are some instances in which people have been discriminated against in the past? What lessons can we learn from these instances?

  • Are people being discriminated against today? Who? By whom? How is this situation similar to situations in the past?

4 Independent Practice

Give students time to work on their journal prompts, Race Card Project entries, and visual components. Help them create their Google Sites and compile the pieces of their projects on their web pages.