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inStill students by CSM

Colorful Me!

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Create an illustrated map of all the identities, experiences, ideas, people, and more that make you a unique, multifaceted individual. Consider ways you could communicate your identity using art, and start experimenting!

Time: 10+ minutes


  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Your choice of color source (markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc)


Teachers should create their own illustrated identity map to model the task, but also to model vulnerability, risk-taking, and sharing.


  1. Invite students to consider the word “identity”. Where have they heard that word before? What does it mean to them?
  2. Students will start with making a map of their varied identities. Students should create a bubble map by drawing an oval in the middle of the paper with their name in it.
  3. Next, students will draw spokes coming out of the center bubble with words to represent parts of their identities. To think about these spokes students might consider the following:
    1. How would you describe yourself to others?
    2. How would others describe you? Is it accurate?
    3. Who are the important people in your life?
    4. What experiences have affected you?
    5. What is your culture? How does it impact your life?
    6. What are your interests?
  4. Once students are comfortable with their maps, they’ll begin to think about how they can express their identities with visual art.
  5. For each trait on their maps, ask students to consider how to express that trait using a line, a shape, a color, or a symbol. Students should sketch their ideas on their map.
  6. Students can refer back to their maps for a “visual vocabulary” of their own identities. These maps could be reference points to create complete artworks and learn more about each other.

Color pencil drawing with a person's name in the center and other words and shapes around the center bubble