Identity Books & Resources for the Classroom
Teach your students to embrace their similarities and differences.
Discover picture books and resources to sensitively teach about identity in your classroom. Children often suffer from anxiety because they feel different. This post is filled with identity book recommendations embracing who we are.
Teaching Identity in the Classroom
Children form their social identity at an early age, including their self-esteem and a sense of belonging. This sense of identity contributes to how they feel about themselves and their self-image.
We want our children to see themselves positively, particularly through their interactions with others. What we hope is children will feel a sense of pride, self-worth, respect and confidence, but we know that this isn’t always the case.
Other people, especially those in the same social identity groups, also influence how children see themselves in both positive and negative ways. Negative interactions can lead to feelings of anxiety because they feel different or don’t fit in.
While not the only strategy, using the picture books below will help children feeling more positive about themselves and be more open when meeting others from different backgrounds and cultures.
Identity Picture Book List
Picture books about identity can help children feel more positive about themselves. Reading about characters with similar lives and personalities supports self-esteem and confidence. The books in this identity book list promote that you should embrace who you are and we are all different.
These identity books are perfect for teaching identity with students of any age. At the end of the book list you have the option to download an identity book list as a pdf.
The following websites highlight the importance of supporting children’s understanding of identity. Many are written for parents but provide useful information. The other resources are educational websites with lesson plans and resources on discussing and teaching about identity, and not just with a book!
Please check if they are appropriate for your specific needs before using them with children. If you have any further suggestions please get in touch!
- Scholastic: Ages & Stages: Physical Identity
- Scholastic: Staff Teacher Handout: Helping Children Develop a Sense of Identity
- Early Years Matters: A Unique Child
- Kids Matter: Why cultural identity matters to children’s wellbeing
- Very Well Mind: The Importance of a Child’s Social Identity
- Humanium: Understanding Children’s Right to Identity
- James Mollison: Where Children Sleep
- Kids Help Line: Helping kids identify and express feelings
- Teaching Tolerance: Looking Inwards, Looking Outwards: An Exploration of Identity Learning Plan
- Teaching Tolerance: Questioning Identity, while Respecting Diversity. Learning Plan
- Equality and Human Rights Commission: Who Am I?
- Scholastic: The Search for Self-Identity
- Aistear The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework: Identity and Belonging Identity
- The British Museum: Identity classroom resources
- British Red Cross: Identity & belonging
- Northern Ireland Curriculum: There’s no one quite like me unit
- Northern Ireland Curriculum: Wonderful Me! Unit
- Virtual Lab School: Sense of Self – An Introduction
Exposure to picture books with a focus on identity picture books is for many children the first time they discover lives similar to their own.
How do you promote your student’s self-esteem and promote their sense of identity. Share your strategies and ideas in the comments.
- Powerful Books About Remarkable Women
- Talking to Young Children about Pride Month
- Gender Roles Picture Books & Resources
- Wellbeing Picture Books & Resources
- The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi teaching resources
- Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall teaching resources
- A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni teaching resources
More Books to Explore
The Children’s Library Lady has over 450 picture books on large variety of topics. You will find specific book, author and illustrator information, as well as resources. You can also browse themed books lists and explore all the books on the website. Click on the book covers below to start exploring what the website has to offer.