Inclusive & Equitable Learning Strategy:

Explore Identities with Learners

NOTE: This strategy is part of the self-paced Cultivate a Sense of Belonging Course

Exploring and sharing about our identity helps us become more aware of our own backgrounds and how they influence how we show up in the world. It also helps us get to know those in community with us to better create inclusive environments where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Identity is made up of many elements including social and personal identity. Social identities define the social groups that you belong to and can be voluntary or involuntary. They include identities related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and more. Personal identities define your life experiences and can include personalities, hobbies, careers, and other elements that make up who you are. The more that young people (and adults!) are able to explore what makes them them and learn more about others the better they will be able to come together in community.

Bright Spots

Gain inspiration from authentic examples of this strategy shared by teachers who have used them with their learners.

Creating your own Bright Spots? Let’s get them out into the world! Share yours here.

Identity Posters

Students and teachers at the Design 39 Campus in San Diego share one element of their identity on a poster in the hallway to get to know each other better.

Identity “Eras”

Source: History_AMS on X (Formerly Twitter)

Learners at Atascocita Middle School reflected on and shared about their identities in terms of the 3 eras of their lives so far, inspired by Taylor Swift’s 2023 Eras Tour.

Identity Wall

Source: Mundo de Pepita on X (formerly Twitter)

An elementary Spanish class has an identity wall that learners add to throughout the year as they explore their own and others’ identities.

Identity Wheels

Source: Chanel Pfahl on X (Formerly Twitter)

Learners filled out an identity wheel and then sought to find commonalities amongst their classmates.


Inspired? Use the resources below to bring this learner-centered strategy to your learning community.

📖 Explore resources for exploring identity with learners 

🧰 Use this lesson to explore identity with learners

🧰 Social and Personal Identity Wheels

Related Learner-Centered Content

If you found this helpful, try this related strategy:

Learn More in this Learner-Centered Course:

Do you already do this, earn a micro-credential:

Associated Learner-Centered Competencies:

Build Relationships: I invest time to get to know my learners and for my learners to know me. (Authentic-Spark Collaboration)

Honor Learners Cultures:
I practice culturally responsive teaching to center learners’ cultural diversity as an asset.