Step 2: We and They | Facing History & Ourselves
Facing History & Ourselves
Uniformed high school students write at their desks.

Step 2: We and They

Students work collaboratively to create illustrated children’s stories that explore issues of conformity and belonging.


This resource is intended for educators in the United Kingdom.

At a Glance

assessment copy


English — UK
  • Democracy & Civic Engagement
  • Culture & Identity


About This Assessment

Students work collaboratively to create illustrated children’s stories that explore issues of conformity and belonging.

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Steps for Implementation

First, have groups identify their target audience, brainstorm ideas for their story, and then develop one or more characters and the setting.

Then ask groups to think about the central conflict of their story. You might ask them to consider why their protagonist struggles with identity and belonging by exploring the possible causes of tension—a desire to fit in, external forces like peer pressure, being reduced to a “single story” by others, “in” and “out” groups—and the consequences of these feelings.

Engage the students in pre-writing activities, such as creating an identity chart for their protagonist and any other minor, but significant characters, discussing how the protagonist views themself and how others view the protagonist. You might also have the students write a journal in response to a question about group membership from the point of view of one or more characters.

Next, have groups outline their stories using a storyboard template. While you might choose to end the project here, groups might also take it one step further and “publish” their stories in a Powerpoint presentation or in a book format. If you teach at a school with younger children, your students might share their stories in a cross-age celebration of learning.

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Facing History & Ourselves is designed for educators who want to help students explore identity, think critically, grow emotionally, act ethically, and participate in civic life. It’s hard work, so we’ve developed some go-to professional learning opportunities to help you along the way.

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