Teach Identity with HyperDocs

To see a free collection of Identity HyperDocs, explore here.

The Social Justice Standards described below from Learning for Justice: The Social Justice Standards are a road map for anti-bias education at every stage of K–12 instruction. Comprised of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes, the Standards provide a common language and organizational structure educators can use to guide curriculum development and make schools more just and equitable.

Divided into four domains—identity, diversity, justice and action (IDJA)—the Standards recognize that, in today's diverse classrooms, students need knowledge and skills related to both prejudice reduction and collective action. Together, these domains represent a continuum of engagement in anti-bias, multicultural and social justice education. 

1. Students will develop positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society.
2. Students will develop language and historical and cultural knowledge that affirm and accurately describe their membership in multiple identity groups.
3. Students will recognize that people’s multiple identities interact and create unique and complex individuals.
4. Students will express pride, confidence and healthy self-esteem without denying the value and dignity of other people.
5. Students will recognize traits of the dominant culture, their home culture and other cultures and understand how they negotiate their own identity in multiple spaces.

To learn more about identity and how to unpack these five standards for yourself, you might consider this PD Module from Learning for Justice. I highly recommend this online learning opportunity!


Getting to know your students, helping them to know themselves, and then facilitating opportunities for them to know others is a great way to begin this important work. These lessons will help you start small, with low cognitive load and low stakes reflections on self! 

Sometimes the shift can be as simple as how you use the identity work that students share with you. Here are some ideas of how you can do more with your HyperDoc instruction ...

  • Ex: Happy Place - study each other’s places and the relevant stories
  • Ex: Identity slides - comment in the speaker notes … ask questions… 
  • Ex: Walk Up Playlist - what do our songs say about us as individuals? As a community?


If you are looking to do some identity work embedded within your content areas, these might give you some ideas. Of course, teaching identity explicitly deserves a place in our curriculum, but you can also incorporate some of these standards into your curricular mapping. 

Any teacher of any subject can easily enter into discussions of self and others through literature. These resources will offer ideas on how to reach all children.

  • Diversity collection (K-5) -- Picture books to enter into the windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors of looking inward and outward. 
  • Stamped Reading Notebook (6-12) -- Direct instruction about these concepts is embedded into the novel read aloud for secondary students. 


  • The Complexity of “Who Am I?” here
  • Strategies to Honor Student Identity Building in the Anti-Biased Classroom by Kelly Hilton here
  • To see a free collection of Identity HyperDocs, explore here.

What are some of the ways that YOU are reaching individual students and teaching identity in your classrooms? Comment below!

What lessons or ideas would you add to these? You can contribute to our Teachers Give Teachers database to share your own lessons!

Author: Sarah Landis 26-08-2021