An Identity Chart is a graphic organizer used to deepen understanding of a person, place, or topic. This graphic tool can help students further understand content, share their own previous knowledge, and break down stereotypes or misconceptions.
Identity charts are used to enrich students’ understanding of their own identities, as well as the identities of groups, nations, historical, and literary figures. The charts can be done individually, in small groups, or as a class. Choose a topic that you would like the class to analyze. Distribute a pre-made identity chart handout or walk students through the steps of creating their own. A template is attached for reference. This strategy can be used to introduce a new topic or to guide a reflection after new knowledge has been provided.
Distribute the identity chart handout. Alternatively, instruct students to draw a circle in the center of a sheet of paper and draw arrows going outward from the center.
Write the topic in the circle in the center of the page. Examples can include the student, a historical figure, a nation or community, a concept, a character, etc.
Begin by having students first brainstorm what knowledge they already have about the topic. Have them write words/phrases that describe the topic on the arrows.
Have students look through texts or other sources for evidence to answer the question: Who is this person/place/thing? Students can add their research to the existing arrows or add new ones. Direct quotes from their evidence can be included to support their response.
Continue to add to the chart until an understanding of the topic has been fully developed.
Identity charts. Facing History and Ourselves. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/identity-charts-1
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Placement In Lesson
- Explore/Learning Activity
- Active Engagement
- Conversation Starter
- Activate Prior Knowledge
- Critical Thinking
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