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Personal identity and self-worth: this is me!

Possible learning activities

  • Students can select the shape of an object that is significant or important to them, for example, a shell, a leaf, a flower, a piece of clothing, or a cultural item.
  • Students cut this shape out of an A4 or larger piece of cardboard, allowing plenty of space, and divide the shape into four parts of about equal size. They label these parts “People”, “Places”, “Possessions”, and “Passions” or “Pleasures”.
  • Students then ask themselves the following questions.
    • Who are the important people in my life, such as friends, families, heroes, or heroines, and what do I value about them?
    • What are the important places in my life, such as birthplace, holiday place, or bedroom, and why do I value these places?
    • What are my important possessions, such as gifts from special people or found objects, and why do I value them?
    • What are my passions or pleasures, such as sport, music, food, hobbies, saving the environment, or individual style, and how do these contribute to my goals and desires in life?

In each sector of their shape, they draw symbols and attach photos, pictures, or other items that reflect what is important to them.

  • After completing their visual image, students could circulate to find another person who has “something different to me”. (This activity could be repeated several times, with the teacher stating what the "something" is each time, such as a family situation, a pet, a food preference.)
  • Once paired, students can then join to make a group of four, with each student explaining their partner's shape to the rest of the group.
  • Pairs of students can then join to make a group of four, with each student explaining their partner's shape to the rest of the group.
  • When this activity is completed, the students' work can be displayed around the room.

Suggested Learning Outcome

Students will recognise and accept that people are different (5A4).


(particularly taha whānau and taha wairua)

Strengthening the feelings of personal identity and encouraging  a sense of belonging.

Attitudes and Values

Developing a positive and responsible attitude towards their own well-being and respecting the rights of others. 

Teachers' notes

  • This is a good learning experience to use at the beginning of the school year or when students do not know each other very well.
  • It is important to establish some behavioural rules with the class beforehand, such as receiving, in a non-judgmental way, what other students say. This learning experience links to the Visual Language strand of the English curriculum.