Exploring cultural identity

Understanding how others experience their cultural identity can help us have more meaningful interactions with those around us. This lesson encourages students to reflect on their own cultural identity, as well as to build their cultural awareness, empathy and respect for others.

Year Level



5 minutes


  • In class activity
  • Online learning

SEL Competencies

  • Social awareness

Learning Intention

Students build their cultural awareness, empathy and respect for others by engaging in personal stories of young people navigating their cultural identities.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • reflect on their cultural identity and what it means to them
  • analyse others' experiences of navigating their cultural identity
  • evaluate factors that shape identities
  • learn more about others' cultural identities.

Instructions 5 min

To help set up a safe and supportive classroom environment, we recommend you access the following:

Tell students that they will be watching a video in which three young people talk about their experiences of learning to navigate their cultural identity. The video features Michael, a Chinese-Singaporean Australian; Monica, a South-Sudanese Australian; and Krushnadevsinh, an Indian Australian.

  1. Play the ReachOut.com video clip Learning to navigate your cultural identity.
  2. In pairs or small groups, have students discuss the following questions:
    • How would you describe your cultural identity? What does it mean to you?
    • How might this compare with what the young people in the video say they feel about their cultural identity?
    • How does having a sense of community within their cultural group positively shape these young people’s identities? (For example, giving them a sense of belonging, making them feel more connected, helping them to overcome insecurities …)
  3. If students feel comfortable, have them share their responses with the class.

Debrief: Engaging with the diversity of other people in our community can provide knowledge, opportunities and experiences we wouldn’t normally have access to. To learn more, you could suggest that students reach out to other students at school from different cultural backgrounds to explore their similarities and differences, and to share the knowledge and practices they value as part of their own culture.

For more information, direct student to: