Identity

Issue 4.2          August 2022          

In this mini-unit we’ll explore how three of the pieces in Write the World Review 4.2 express ideas related to identity and the role of society as it relates to one’s identity. 


Please adapt, condense, or expand the following lesson ideas as you see fit, according to your class’s needs and your curricular goals. We hope you’ll reach out to our teacher liaison at Lori@WritetheWorld.com with any questions or suggestions, or to tell us how your class engaged with Write the World Review!


Read:


  1. r/ identity

  2. Sex Education in Indian High Schools

  3. Han


Discuss:


The following questions could work well for a class discussion, small group discussions, or written responses in the form of short essays or reflections.


  1. Discuss the ways in which each writer’s identity is influenced by other people, situations, or societal norms outside of their control. 

  2. Discuss the ways in which each writer takes ownership of their identity, despite the outside influences they’re subjected to. 


Write:


Topic: These writers discuss social media, school policies, and one’s name—topics that play significant roles in a person’s life. Review the following list* of identifiers and choose three that feel significant to you in your life.


  • Age

  • Ethnicity

  • Gender

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Sexual Orientation

  • Socioeconomic Status (Class)

  • Size and Weight

  • Educational Attainment

  • Income or Wealth

  • Academic/Social Achievement

  • Family Makeup

  • Geographic/Regional Background

  • Language

  • Learning Style

  • Citizenship Status

  • Beliefs (political, moral, ethical)


*List taken from “Sample Cultural Identifiers” from NAIS.org


First, write a bit about each of the three identifiers that you choose. Explain how each identifier shows up in your life and what it means to you. Then, choose one of the three identifiers to delve into in even more detail. You might share some anecdotes from your life that illustrate the significance of the identifier in your life, or you might reflect on how can reflect on a time in your life when you realized this identifier was especially important to you. 


Form: The pieces “r/identity,” “Sex Education in Indian High Schools,” and “Han” demonstrate writing in the forms of an op-ed and a poem. Choose the form that best compliments your topic, tone, and subject matter. 


Additional Challenge: Write about the same topic twice—once as an op-ed and once in verse. Then, reflect on the following questions, perhaps as written responses or as comments shared aloud in class:

 

  • Which form creates the strongest effect for your material? 

  • In which form do you feel most confident expressing your ideas? 

  • How do outside sources contribute to the point you’re making in your op-ed? 

  • How do poetic devices benefit your writing and serve your purpose in expressing yourself?


Extend:


The following hyperlinked pieces can be read and studied in connection to the essays and the poem in this mini-unit. 


r/ identity | Social media is riskier for kids than “screen time” 


Discuss: How does the concept of the “gaze” that is explained in “r/ identity” serve the argument that social media is riskier for kids than “screen time”? In what other areas of life (aside from social media) does “the gaze” exist, for better or for worse? 


Sex Education in Indian High Schools | Serena Williams’ catsuit controversy evokes the battle over women wearing shorts


Discuss: The author of “Sex Education in Indian High Schools” spends some time addressing dress code, but this is only a small portion of a larger issue in her op-ed. In what ways does clothing become a symbol of a larger issue in both “Sex Education in Indian High Schools” and in “Serena Williams’ catsuit controversy evokes the battle over women wearing shorts”?


Han | a girl named jack | My Name is Yoon


Discuss: Identify the different layers of meaning and history present in one or more of the names (Han, Jack, and Yoon) featured in these literary works. How does each speaker/character resist or embrace their name and its connection to other events, people, and places?






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