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Eighth graders discuss identity

Throughout March in teacher Laura Clemens’s class, eighth graders examined how different aspects of one’s identity can lead to them being the “odd one out” in society, and how communities can positively support and embrace individuals’ diverse identities. Students read a modern young adult novel with a protagonist who identifies as the “odd one out” in their community and discussed in-depth that protagonist’s experiences, struggles, and successes in small groups. Students also examined their identities and completed a creative project to present a portion of their identity to their classmates. “The unit deliberately uses a student-centered model where students choose which book they wanted to read, served as leaders for their discussions, and then selected from among a variety of creative projects. Discussions and activities encouraged real-world connections and invited students to consider how to make our communities more welcoming to diverse individuals. Overall, we ask students to think how they can promote equity and celebrate diversity in their lives,” Clemmons said.