Learning Activity 2 Who I am
Activity 2 - Who I am (learning outcome 1.2)
Students reflect on their developing identity by looking at what is important to them now, and how this may change or remain constant over time.
Step 1: Reflection
Ask the students to indicate by a show of hands if it would be a) easy, b) okay, or c) hard for each of them to answer the question, ‘Who am I?’.
This is about more than what their name is. It is about really understanding and appreciating themselves. It is about knowing what is important to them, their strengths, their abilities, and what they value in themselves.
Acknowledge that most people would find this exercise difficult. To begin with, you can ask them to think about how they spend their time, attention and money.
Step 2: Who am I?
Distribute the worksheet (who am I) and invite the students to complete both sections. When everyone has completed it, divide the students into pairs.
Ask them to discuss their completed worksheets with one another. sharing only what they feel comfortable with. Ask them to notice what things seem most important to their partner and to pay close attention to how their partner is speaking.
When all of the students have discussed their worksheets, invite them to tell their partner what they thought mattered most to them.
Many students struggle with a sense of belonging, this is normal as young people are developing a sense of identity. Exploring what belonging/connection means to the young person is key here rather than what groups they actually belong to.
Teachers should observe and note feedback from students and talk to a student privately and/ or inform the student support team of any concerns if a student is isolated or had difficulties forming a friendship group.
We are all experiencing life and drawing conclusions based on our own experience. For example, what we like or dislike, what we are passionate about and what matters least for us. All these experiences and decisions influence our evolving identity.
Some of the things your students will have identified as important to them now will matter less to them as they get older due to their changing understanding and circumstances in life. Other things will endure because they are fundamental to who the person is. It is only by learning to know and appreciate ourselves that we can begin to know and appreciate others.
Step 3: Reflection
Think about and record your answers to the following in your SPHE copy or journal:
- Three of the things that make me unique as an individual
- One of the qualities that I like best about myself
- Something/someone who inspires me is and why
Sitting quietly, I invite you to close your eyes, or if you prefer, bring your focus to a point on the wall or floor in front of you. Feel your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting in your lap.
Notice your breathing, in and out. Relax your shoulders. Feel the air as it touches your nose and feel your belly expand as you breathe in.
Notice how your body is feeling right now. Notice the sensations in your head, your face, your neck, your back, your tummy, your legs, your feet.
Now bring to mind a time in your life when you were really happy. Maybe you were doing something you love, maybe you were with people you love, maybe you were in a place that you love.
Remember how happy you felt – full of peace, full of contentment, full of joy, full of love.
- What colours do you see?
- What can you hear?
- What can you smell?
- What can you touch?
- What can you taste?
Let yourself bask in that memory. Feel the warmth of it, the peaceful feelings. Feel the love and the joy and bring to mind something that really inspires you, something that gives you energy just thinking about it, something that you find really exciting and intriguing. Maybe it is related to your happy memory, maybe it is something else entirely.
Dwell here for a moment. Feel the joy, the excitement, the love, the anticipation as you visualise yourself in this scene. Notice again how your body is feeling, your head, your neck, your back, your tummy, your legs and your feet.
Notice your breathing, in and out. Feel your feet flat on the floor, and when you are ready, open your eyes.
As this is the first guided visualisation, it is important to check how the students are responding to it. Some students may enjoy it and others may find it difficult. Encourage the students to let you know privately if they did not have a positive experience. Such students may need an alternate relaxation technique and may require additional school supports.
This guided visualisation is a powerful way of demonstrating to the students that while we all have different happy memories and different sources of inspiration, we are all connected in our experience of joy, love and peace.