Identity self-portraits create opportunities for self-understanding by encouraging youth to reflect on different facets of their identities. Participants illustrate their visible and invisible identity markers, reflect upon how these identities interact with how they perceive themselves and how they are perceived by others.
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This activity prompts young people to think and speak critically with their peers about a real-world topic. They consider how the topic applies to them and how it might impact others. During this activity, youth share their opinions, debate their positions, and sometimes even change sides as their opinions shift to accommodate new information or other viewpoints. This activity introduces young people to the concepts of bias and stereotypes by discussing how the judgments we make can be very damaging.
In this book, Julian imagines himself becomming a mermaid after he sees some women dressed up beautifully in mermaid costumes. When he gets home, he dresses up as a mermaid, and at first his Abuela seems angry at him.
Through poetic words and beautiful illustrations, a young Asian girl celebrates what makes her unique. This book is a gentle story about self-love and the power of family in shaping our identity. Reading this story together provides an opportunity to listen generously and celebrate each person's unique beauty and gifts.
Names carry weight.
Sherman Alexie is a well known author for teens and adults. He wrote this, his first picture book, in part because there isn't enough representation of indigenous people in picture books. In his loving family, Thunder Boy, Jr. struggles to find his own place and name.
This activity introduces youth to the concept of privilege. Participants will become aware of their privilege and how their privilege enhances or hinders their access to opportunities.
Language holds the power to unite or divide us, and we may unknowingly use language that excludes or offends our listeners. The language used at home, on TV, in Music, and in the Media often contains insensitive or divisive language with the potential to offend. Youth can identify and make an effort to use more inclusive language instead. By managing their own language, youth can serve as models for their peers and others in their community.
After a meaningful session or day together, a reflective writing prompt can help young people internalize, sort, or articulate their thoughts and feelings. A great tool for SEL and personal reflection, exit tickets provide a prompt to bring thoughts to a close before moving out the door. Designed to be handed to the facilitator as a "ticket" out the door, they may also be kept private if someone doesn't want to share their thoughts in the moment.