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Identity Flower

In this adventure, you will learn about the things that make up your identity. Some might be obvious to those around you, like your gender or nationality, while others are more hidden.

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Plan

  • Do I have all my materials ready for this adventure? 
  • Is this group prepared to discuss serious matter, if not, should we keep it simple?  

Do

  • Draw a flower on a large piece of paper and place it on the wall.  Each petal represents one category, which could include:  gender, race, ethnic group, class, language, religion, age group, education, ability/disability, location (urban/rural), sexual orientation, place of birth, where you live etc. As a group, work together to decide what these identity categories are. The central part of the flower can simply be your name.  
  • Next, everyone will draw a big flower with multiple large petals on their own sheet of paper and compete each representing one of these characteristics/identities brainstormed. As you consider your petals, think about how some of these aspects may have changed over the years and how you have developed your identity over time. How they have helped create the person you are today? 
  • Now, think about an iceberg – most of it is hidden under the water. Identity is a bit like this – things we can see and things which are hidden. Do you think we are conscious of our identity? How does it affect us? 
  • Remember, the exploration of a person’s multiple characteristics in a group setting helps build personal and collective awareness as well as solidarity with one another. This exploration of the complexities and intersections of people’s identities can also help participants see how their differences and commonalities can serve to strengthen alliances and movements.

Review

  • If comfortable, youth may share their identity flower.  
  • Do you think we are conscious of our identity?  
  • How does identity affect us? 

Materials

  • Large paper
  • Smaller paper
  • Markers
  • Tape
  • Optional: soft music to play while everyone works  

Keep it Simple

  • Keep it simple by using categories that are not as heavy. Maybe use more superficial categories, such as favourite colourfavourite animal, what school you attend, etc. Use these to still identify differences between people and the importance of people having different identities.  

Take it Further

  • Take if further by explaining that each petal contributes to who we are as a whole, highlighting the rich diversity of our multiple characteristics/identities, and that these intersections of our identities make up who we are as individuals and are called intersectionality. Ask, what are some things you learned from this reflection about identity and identities? 
  • Take it even further, by looking at the link and discussing intersectionality. This resource (p.4) offers a simple introduction to intersectionality with simple drawings. Use this as a jumping board for further conversations. 
  • To further explore this idea, a 'group identity flower’ could be created.' E.g., cut out all pedals, and make one large flower to demonstrating the intersectionality of the group, etc. This can be displayed in meeting hall to continuously celebrate similarities and differences.