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To be a refugee is the most horrible feeling because you lose your family, you lose your home, you’re also without an identity. Suddenly you’re a nothing”.

Inge Sadan (Kindertransport survivor quoted in ‘Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport’ preface by Lord Richard Attenborough. Bloomsbury Publishing 2000 Pg. 251)

What is identity?

Why would you change or hide your identity? Your identity is made up of many things:

  • your past: your family and its history, its customs and traditions
  • your appearance
  • your personality
  • your religion
  • your language

In this section we’ll look at identity, what it means and how we can explore it together.

Who am I thinking of?

Teacher begins by describing someone in the group – (positively!) including their likes and dislikes and their strengths etc. Group has to identify who is being described. Take in turns to do more.

Variation: One person has their back to the group and only they guess who is being described.

Two Minute Identikit Pictures

Find a partner, preferably someone you don’t know well. You have two minutes to tell them what you really want them to know about you and your life: past, present, fears, hopes, plans, favourites, etc. After each of you has had a turn, join another pair and tell them about your partner, trying to remember as much of what they told you as you can. Perhaps extend this by introducing the whole group to your partner.

Identity Cards

Get your class to write down what they think should be included on a persons identity card. Then as a circle-time activity: share what they have wrote and discuss ‘What is identity?’

Now get them to find and write down words to describe their character. Ask them – What makes you you? How would your friends describe you?

After the class have shared all their ideas ask them to create their own identity card. Do they differ from what they originally thought should be included?

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