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Group 203 Explores the Visible and Invisible Elements of Personal Identity

The 2nd/3rd Graders in Group 203 have been thinking and talking about identity, and how while some parts of a person’s identity are visible to the world, other important parts can only be discovered by getting to know them. Together they read Red: A Crayon’s Story, in which a blue crayon, mistakenly labeled as red, struggles to get others to recognize him for what he truly is. They discussed how the assumptions people make based on appearance can often be incorrect, and began to think about how the selves they present to the world might lead others to believe something about them that isn’t true.

As a way of mapping the visible and invisible pieces of their identities, Group 203 students created identity wheels, writing down things people can tell just by looking at them, like their skin color, and elements of their identity that aren’t apparent to others, like what language they speak at home. In Art, students used watercolor paints to create self-portraits representing how they appear to the world, which will be included in larger identity collages that include the visible and invisible elements of each student’s identity. These collages will then be arranged together to represent not only the importance of affirming the many different pieces of a person’s identity, but also the ways that the fullness of who students are contributes to and enriches their experience as a classroom community.