Your identity, your heritage

Lesson overview

Learning Area:Health and Physical Education (HPE) Humanities and social sciences
Age Group:Primary Upper (10-12 years)


Students examine the impact of personal experience in shaping identity. Students identify behaviour and attitudes to different cultural gatherings and the unique nature of cultural events. Through an understanding of different cultural events students learn of the similarities between individuals within their own community.


These activities allow students to reflect on their own heritage and personal identity while researching the identity of the Italian migrants who came to New Italy in 1881.

Resources needed

  • Worksheets
  • Art materials for self portrait
  • Access to internet


1. Individually students list some of their memorable moments from childhood.
(See Teacher’s resource – list of memories)

  • List some student ideas on the board and discuss how experiences shape our identity.
  • Divide the list, combining all cultural events into one section.
  • Ask students to add to cultural events list- they may be religious, artistic or celebrations unique to a group.
  • Students can explain cultural events to other students.
  • Distribute and discuss the worksheet Your identity, your heritage. Discuss the meaning of the word heritage. Ask students to work in groups to complete the sheet.
  • Students can research where their grandparents and great grandparents are /were from and give a presentation.

    2. Discuss the circumstances in which some migrants come to Australia.

    • Open the website New Italy and have students look through the site. As a group discuss the circumstances the Italians came to Australia.
    • Distribute the worksheet Their identity, their heritage New Italy. Read through the worksheet together.
    • Students complete all activities on the sheet or select one from the three provided

    Go to the Immigration Museum of Victoria and look at the different articles in ‘Express Yourself’.

    • Ask students to watch a few of the videos. Discuss how each person expresses their identity.
    • Students draw a the shape of their head and fill it with writing and pictures, making a self portrait to show their identity.