MY STORY - An introduction to Hannan, Natasha and Minahil, three young people who moved to Ireland as children.  This lesson explores the characteristics of personal identity such as gender, race, ethnic group, social class, region of origin, religion. It provides students with an opportunity to explore some of the ways labels are used identify each other and to consider the ways that those labels affect how others think about us, how we behave, and how we think about ourselves.




Prior Learning
Knowledge and understanding of:
  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child
Identity - the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.
Culture - the learned ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
Label - A name, word, or phrase used to classify or categorise a person or thing.
Assumption - Something that is accepted as true before one gathers any proof that it is so.
Stereotype - An often incorrect assumption made about all of the members of a particular group.


  • Learner Journal - Circles of Me diagram

  • #Uprooted videos

Download Topic Guidance - IDENTITY



  1. Explore the concept of identity and individuality

  2. Acquire a reinforced awareness of the value of diversity

  3. Develop an appreciation of and talk about personal strengths, abilities and characteristics

  4. Recognise and appreciate the differences and similarities between their own culture and that of other cultures

  5. Greater awareness of the complex global issues that cause displacement


1st Year Junior Cycle English / Junior Cycle 

  • Key skill: Working with Others

  • Key skill element: Respecting Difference

  • Key skill: Being Literate

  • Key skill element: Exploring and creating a variety of texts, including multi-modal texts ·


Main Learning Outcomes (from English specification) addressed in this lesson: OL 4, OL 10




Introduce the lesson by showing students one or two of the introductory videos above. This activity will explore the concept of identity. This is an important component of the learning for establishing a sense of understanding of the assumptions, stereoptyping and "othering" that goes on when talking about refugees and migrants. 

The following activity provides students with an opportunity to define their own identity. In so doing they will determine what components of that identity are given vs. chosen and what commonalities they share or don't share with others in the group. What assumptions or stereotypes are made about them based on labels that are given to them.  

‘Circles of Me’ Activity:  Instruct the students to draw three large circles (one inside the other) and fill them in as follows:  


Inner circle: Record three adjectives that describe themselves. This is our core identity.  

Middle circle: Record things about themselves that they have chosen, e.g. friends, hobbies, interests. This is the part of our identity that we choose for ourselves.

Outer circle: Record external characteristics e.g. their hair colour, eye colour, birthplace, nationality, culture, religion and race. This is the part of our identity that is given to us – we do not choose these traits.

Discussion: Ask students to share some of the traits that have been given to them and chosen by them.  Discuss the commonalities and differences that have arisen in the classroom. Ask them to share what it feels like when they are part of a large group versus when they are part of a small group.  Highlight the adjectives associated with following feelings

  • powerful (large group) or powerless (small group)

  • safe (large group) vulnerable (small group) 

  • insider (large group) outsider (small group) 

  • majority (large group) minority (small group

Ask students to think about the size of the group they find themselves in mostly and how does this affect them on the day to day. Ask students to identify any labels, assumptions or stereotypes that are made about them. Ask students to think about what it means to "feel Irish".

Watch Video: 

Students will now put their writing to the side and watch the YouTube Clip of Individual World Poetry Slam Finals 2015 – Emi Mahmoud Final Round


Students will respond to this poem by writing down one sentence which begins with the words “I noticed that...” 




Share with the children the poster on Convention of the Rights of the Child. Ask them to determine which rights are significant to the topic they have been discussing. 

Article 8 (Preservation of identity): You have the right to an identity – an official record of who you are. Governments should respect your right to a name, a nationality and family ties.

Article 14 (Religion): You have the right to choose your own religion and beliefs. your parents should help you decide what is right and wrong, and what is best for you. 

Article 22 (Refugee children): You have the right to special protection and help if you are refugees (if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as all the rights in the Convention.

Article 29 (Goals of education): Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities to the fullest. It should also help you to respect others, human rights and you own and other cultures. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people. 

Article 30 (Children of minorities/indigenous groups): Minority or indigenous children have the right to learn about and practice their own culture, language and religion. The right to practice one’s own culture, language and religion applies to everyone; the Convention here highlights this right in instances where the practices are not shared by the majority of people in the country.


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