Many young people have never been asked to articulate their values. They haven't had the chance to reflect on the people, narratives, traditions, customs, and material circumstances that have shaped their identities. This can lead to knee-jerk reactions. Young people might feel insecure about their views or make assumptions about other people's experiences.
In this exercise, students explore the cultural influences that have shaped their identities, values, and beliefs by reflecting on the important people, stories, traditions, and artifacts from their lives. This exercise and worksheet can help students introduce themselves in a way that lets them write their own stories, or it can help them reflect on their formative influences.
When students feel grounded in the relationships between their perspectives and their experiences, they are better able to listen and engage productively—even in conversations about fraught topics.