How Do You See Me?

Engage students in a reflection about their identity and how they are perceived by others.
Ages 8-14 / 30
min Activity
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  • Reflect on important aspects of their identity and understand the difference between visible and invisible identity 
  • Create two identity wheels to compare how they see themselves compared to how others may see them 

Supporting Research

A culturally responsive pedagogy encourages educators to celebrate students’ cultural differences through opportunities for them to self-reflect and share about their own multidimensional identities, while building an understanding and appreciation for backgrounds and perspectives different from their own. During this activity, educators should guide students to practice self-awareness to reflect on aspects of their own identity and how others might see them (e.g., their “visible” identity”.

To learn more about this skill, and how it promotes students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.

Activity Partners


  1. Begin the activity by discussing identity. You might say: "Our identity is what makes us “us”, like our appearance, personality, loved ones, and values. We are going to practice thinking about our identities because understanding ourselves helps us live in harmony and form friendships with people who have identities unlike our own.”
  2. Distribute a copy of the "How Do You See Me?" handout to each student, and ask them to complete the first page. Students should reflect on important aspects of their identity, and add words, symbols, and drawings to their identity wheel to represent these different qualities.

    Share a list of different things students might include, such as their hobbies, interests, values, beliefs, strengths, experiences, relationships, cultural or ethnic background, gender identity, and personality traits.
  3. After students have finished their first identity wheel, introduce the concept of “visible” versus “invisible” identity. 

    You might say: “Some parts of our identity, like how we look and act, are easy for others to notice. But other parts, like our beliefs and experiences, are hidden. Sometimes, people might even make assumptions about us based on what they see or think they know about us. This is called a stereotype. For example, some people might think all boys like sports, or all girls like cooking. These assumptions are often untrue, and lead to unfair judgement and treatment of others.”
  4. Explain that students will use the second page of the handout to create an identity wheel that represents how they think others see them, such as their family, friends, classmates, and teachers. 

    They should include visible aspects of their identity, and any stereotypes that others might believe about them.
  5. After students have finished their second identity wheel, ask them to pair up with another student. Each pair should discuss the following questions: 
    • What are some differences between how you see yourself and how others see you? 
    • Was it easy or difficult to imagine how others might see you? 
    • What is something about your identity that might surprise others? 
    • Is it possible to know everything about someone else’s identity, especially just by looking at them?
    • What are some skills or strategies that can help learn about others’ identity?

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.