Year 7: Identity – What makes me me?

Year 7, Term 1 Unit: Introduction to Philosophy/Identity

Lesson type: Concept exploration: Identity

Theme: Identity (Metaphysics, Epistemology, Logic and Reasoning)

Inquiry skill focus: giving examples | Rule focus: Everyone’s ideas are important

Reasoning focus: Hypothetical reasoning; if…then,

Purpose: To explore what is the essence of a person: ‘What is it that makes me, me?

  • Rules cards
  • Thinking skills card: ‘example’
  • Concept exploration cards
  • Butchers paper or whiteboard

Lesson Outline

Preliminary activities (10mins)
  1. Revise rules
  2. Introduce and explain focus inquiry skill – giving examples. Give the card to someone to hold up when they either hear an example or feel that one is needed.
  3. Introduce and explain reasoning focus – hypothetical reasoning (use terminology). Stress language if and then. ‘If all students at Hillbrook decide to wear their hats every day, then…’ around circle or get a few random responses.
Main activity
  1. Explore philosophical concept of ‘identity’ using Black, White or Grey activity Page 121 in Chesters et al (2013)* (For instructions see Blackwhiteorgrey under resources).
  1. Remember to develop a criteria list as you go. The point of the lesson is to have students explore what is the essence of a person: ‘What is it that makes me, me?’ The criteria list helps students keep track of what they have identified. It is useful at the end of the lesson to take some time to revisit the criteria list to identify which of the criteria are necessary and which may not be necessary. By refining the list in this way the group is able to become more precise in their attempts to define the concept.
Suggested teacher procedural questions (for use during lesson)
  • What is your reason for placing that card under ‘identity’?
  • Can anyone give an example of why ‘x’ should/shouldn’t go under ‘identity’?
  • Also – look for opportunities to include an ‘if this then what?’ in the discussion.
Student reflection (10 mins)
  1. Whole group reflection (oral):
    • Did we discover anything new about identity today? What was it?
    • Did we give relevant examples?
    • Were there any instances of hypothetical reasoning?
  2. Individual reflection (written):
    • Something important that makes me who I am is…
    • Something I am wondering about…
Teacher reflection
  • What was something surprising a student said?
  • What was something that worked well?
  • What is something I’d like to work on for next time?
Cards for activity

(Adapted from ‘Philosophical and Ethical Inquiry…’ *
page 41 and Golding: ‘Thinking with Rich Concepts’ ** pp 55 – 58)

  • Uniformity
  • Conformity
  • Uniqueness
  • Character
  • Individuality
  • Changing
  • Memories
  • Your name
  • Your mind
  • Your hands
  • Thoughts
  • Hair colour
  • Friends
  • Your brother
  • Feelings

* Chesters, Fynes-Clinton, Hinton, and Scholl, (2013) Philosophical and Ethical Inquiry for Students in the Middle Years and Beyond. ACSA

** Golding, C. (2006) Thinking with Rich Concepts. Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education

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