Who Am I?
Paper Bag Identity Project
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
~ Peter Marshall, US Senate Chaplain 1947
Repeated by Malcolm X, Alexander Hamilton, Ginger Rogers,
Steve Bartkowski, and a host of others thru the years.
Introduction: The popular quotation above rings true because we all know how easy it is to be influenced by others. Peers, media, fads, politics, music, celebrities—each one can impact everything about us: the decisions we make, what we wear, how we feel about ourselves and others, etc. But the quote above isn’t just about influence. It’s about having a firm foundation, something solid you can make a stand on so that you won’t get knocked around by anything and everything.
Identity: Perhaps the strongest foundation a person can have is his/her identity. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is an absolutely critical step in your journey toward adulthood. Why? The answer is because identity and behavior have a powerful link between them. If you think you are unique, valuable, and irreplaceable, it’s unlikely that you would choose behaviors that could end up harming yourself. If you see yourself as talented and intelligent, you’ll be much more likely to jump in and help with a challenging task.
In this project, you will research your identity, keeping in mind that you are a middle school student and, as such, you are still very much a work in progress. You are—and will be—building your identity. Exploring your identity deeply now may help you be stronger, more secure, and more successful in life now -AND- later.
The Who Am I, Paper Bag Identity Project will require you to excel in all the ELA areas listed below:
In brief: students will collect a minimum of FIVE props that are related to their identity. These props must fit inside their paper lunch bag. Students will also decorate the paper lunch bag with text and artwork related to their identity. Based on their research, they will write a “Who Am I?” Identity Script. They will practice the script at home, learning the best times to pull props out of their bag and show them, as well as, when to rotate their bag so that the different decorated sides can be seen by the audience. Then, students will come to class and perform their “Who Am I” Identity Talks for the class.