Communities and identities

Learning objective

Learn what it means to be a UK citizen in a changing and diverse society

Success criteria and assessment activities

   Describe some of the different identities that people have
   Describe some of the ways that those differences reveal themselves
   State some of the values and behaviours UK citizens have in common

Introduction to learning 

(In small groups) write down what you think it means to be a citizen of this country. Suggest up to three things. 

Pupils may give one or more of

  Speaks English
  Lives in Britain
  Born in Britain 

Question them: could you be a UK citizen without any of those criteria being met?

Main body of lesson

Class discussion on what identity means, eg membership of a group. And how people can have many identities/ belong to many groups.

List on the whiteboard in any order (possible answers)

   Member of the human race
   Age groups: old people, young people, middle age 
   Skin colour
   Education: school/ college they go to/ went to
   Things they do in their spare time, art, music, sport
   Where people live: town/country, north/ south etc
   Where they come from, immigrants
   If they are employed what job they do, their employer, profession
   Religion, the church, mosque, synagogue they go to

In some cases you can easily tell which groups people belong to.

Task in pairs 

(In pairs) think how you can tell the groups a person may belong to. Take one or two groups.

Two lists on the board: one list, prepared in advance, of the identity groups, the other a list of factors showing membership.

   How they speak, regional accents, foreign language
   What they wear
   How they spend their time
   What they eat
   How they vote, perhaps
   TV programmes they watch etc
   How they communicate with each other

Challenge and extension activities
Imagine the differences between a woman in her 30s who has come from India, lives in London and works in a large store in Oxford Street.  And an elderly retired white couple living in a village in Northumberland.  A day in the life.

What it means to have a British identity and behave as a British citizen.

The values game. If this can be done safely distribute same set of cards among the students (small groups.)  Each student (group) gives the scale of importance from 1 to 5 for each card as indicators of being British.

    Speaks English
    Lives in Britain
    Born in Britain
    Obeys the law
    Protects the environment
    Respects other people’s rights
    Votes in elections
    Is kind to animals
    Other indicator: suggest one

Get a ranking (from the groups) of these factors and come up with a British identity.

(Tell pupils that an immigrant wishing to become a British citizen has to meet certain residency and other requirements and pass a test on knowledge of English and life in the UK.)

Support activities 

Name some other things that are typical of British people and help us get on with each other.  One or two ideas:

     Sense of humour
     Sense of fair play
     Drink in pubs
     Put up with things like the weather and queuing

Silent work

Write down and list the identities you have and what effect you think they have on the way you behave.

Closing thought

What we have said about the differences between groups and the things they have in common in this country would be just as true in many other countries.

Feedback and assessment
Teacher questioning of individuals (and groups.)



Citizenship Education for KS3, Hodder Education 2014

Citizens of Europe
   Nationality laws

Lesson plan KS3 - Communities and Identities