Finding Me, Knowing You: Exploring and Expressing Identity through Language Arts

byTharish R. Harris

Teenagers are in the process of identity formation, and this unit aims to help students learn about a variety of identities through carefully chosen thematic excerpts, poems, and full novels. Students will closely read and respond to the texts through writing and discussion. This unit’s goal is that adolescent students begin to understand the events and conditions that shape identities. Students will follow characters and writers as they explore what forms their identities, while simultaneously examining their own concepts of their teenage identities. As they go through this process—of learning about their own identities and those of both fictional characters and historic/public figures—the goal is that each student will learn to appreciate, accept, respect, and understand identities different from their own. This unit is designed for grade 9, but could be easily adapted for grades 10, 11, and 12.

(Developed for English/Language Arts, grade 9; recommended for English/Language Arts, grades 9-12)

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