Sixth Graders Consider: "Who Am I?"

Minerva Ceron and Christie Jones, Sixth Grade Humanities
Much of the Live Oak curriculum incorporates exploration of identity as a central theme. We want to challenge and encourage our students to think closely about who they are and how they relate to the people they interact with on a daily basis.
“Who am I?” This is the question sixth grade students asked themselves at the start of the year. Why? In order to reflect and analyze the different aspects of their identity and how that shapes and forms their values, ideas, and actions. Beginning the school year by asking this question and sharing their findings to the class leads into creating a relationship with one another. Especially since sixth grade is the year when we have a large number of new friends joining our community. That is one of our values here at Live Oak School, to build “an inclusive school community that explores and appreciates the differences that define us as individuals.”

Students started this identity journey by creating an identity web/chart. They thought about the different factors/aspects that have shaped their identity (so far) and then focused on one to share with the class. We also talked about how society can place labels on us. Students also created a bio-poem about themselves. Sharing in a creative writing format who they are to the class. Our culminating project for this journey will be to create masks. 

Many cultures have used masks to represent individuals and group identity. Masks provide a visual representation to the question, “Who am I?” Students have had to ask themselves if they show their whole selves to the world or if they conceal a few aspects of themselves. We will read a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, We Wear the Mask, where students will reflect on how African Americans had to hide aspects of themselves during post-Civil War America to survive. Students will then select aspects of their identities to highlight on a physical mask as well as aspects to conceal. They will then share their masks with their classmates which will help them “introduce themselves” to the classroom community.

If you walk in the hallways of the middle school wing, take a look at the masks and read more about the sixth grade community.


Live Oak School welcomes and admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, citizenship status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and faith to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities of Live Oak School. Live Oak School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, citizenship status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and faith in administration of its educational policies and programs, admissions policies, Adjusted Tuition program, and athletic and other school-administered programs.