National Portrait Gallery:
Image and Identity
• How do we see ourselves? (Individual/personal identity)
• How do we portray ourselves? (Chosen identity)
• What do we project to others? (Implied identity)
• What do others see and impose onto us?
(Imposed or perceived identity)
Museum of Modern Art:
“Identity is the way we perceive and express ourselves.
Factors and conditions that an individual is born with
play a role in defining one’s identity. However, many
aspects of a person’s identity change throughout his or
her life. People’s experiences can alter how they see
themselves or are perceived by others. Conversely, their
identities also influence the decisions they make: Many
artists use their work to express, explore, and question
ideas about identity.”
Museum of Modern Art:
• Identity Exchange
This activity is for a group or a classroom.
• Brainstorm. Each person should receive five to ten index cards. On each card,
write a word or a phrase describing something that is important to their identity.
• Connect. Lay the cards out on a desk or surface. Walk around the room, reading
what others wrote on their cards. Anytime you see a word or phrase that you also
identity with, add a dot sticker to that person’s card.
• Reflect. As a group, discuss what you noticed during this exercise. Which cards had
the most dot stickers on them? Did anything surprise you?
Discovering My Identity
from the Teaching Tolerance Site (A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center)
• The Art of Ibiyinka Alao http://www.ibiyinka.com/gallery.htm
• Published on Aug 17, 2016 Ibiyinka Alao's 3rd large canvas painting
explained. Inspired by a story about Ibi's father and fireflies that was also
used to generate the award-winning book written by a team of ten 3rd
graders from Willow Lane (Macungie, PA) and published by Scholastic. This
video was produced by Matt Weimann.
Ibiyinka’s Visit to the College of Education
• Create a Symbolic Self-Portrait
• Revisit the 10 words that describe you. Consider those words and come up
with symbols that represents who you are. Make a drawing, painting, or
collage of yourself, incorporating the symbols into your composition.
• What did you learn about visual symbols? In your experience, was it easy or
difficult to incorporate a symbol into your self-portrait?
Mask-making preparation worksheet from
Identity & Community: An Introduction to 6th Grade Social Studies
Mask-making preparation worksheet
1. What aspects of your identity would you like to present to others?
• Biographical information:
• Experiences and accomplishments:
• Hopes and fears:
• Likes and dislikes:
2. What labels or adjectives would you like others to use when they think about you?
3. What are some aspects of your identity that you may not present to others but that you still want
them to know about? (These are ideas you might want to include on the inside of your mask.)
More IDENTITY Lessons
• Facing History and Ourselves: Identity & Community, An Introduction to
6th Grade Social Studies https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-
• Facing History and Ourselves: Who Am I?
• Incredible Art Department: Name Art