Social Identity Wheel | Facing History & Ourselves

Social Identity Wheel

This handout contains a graphic organizer that helps students think about the ways they identify socially.
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At a Glance



English — US
Also available in:


  • English & Language Arts
  • Culture & Identity

Teaching Note: What appears below is a preview of this handout. Please download the PDF to get the full handout, which includes additional elements specifically designed for student use. Social identity wheel is adapted from University of Michigan LSA Inclusive Teaching.

Directions: Social identity refers to your sense of who you are based on your membership in certain groups. On the next page, create a social identity wheel by filling in the box that corresponds to each triangle below. As you are working, think about situations where you might feel or be more aware of different aspects of your identity. Also think about how these identities impact how you see and treat other people. You will not have to share this graphic organizer with anyone else. 

Personal Reflection Questions

Directions: Use your social identity wheel to help you respond to the following questions in your journal so you can think more deeply about how your membership in certain social groups, whether by choice or because you were born into them, impacts your sense of who you are and your interactions with others. This is a private response that you will not have to share.

  1. Which identities do you think about or feel most often? When are you most aware of these identities? 
  2. Which identities do you think about or feel least often? Why do you think you aren’t aware of them a lot of the time? 
  3. Which identities have the strongest impact on how you perceive or define yourself? 
  4. Which identities have the strongest impact on how you think other people perceive or label you?
  5. Review your answers to questions 1–4. How might your age and/or circumstances influence, or even change, some of your answers?   
  6. Which identities, if any, have changed or are changing as you grow up?
  7. How well do you think the social identity wheel graphic represents your social identity? Would you add or change any categories? If so, which ones? If not, why not?

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Using the strategies from Facing History is almost like an awakening.
— Claudia Bautista, Santa Monica, Calif