Spin Me a Student

Social Studies/Art

Students create a visual model representing the complexity of their identities, including the many responsibilities, skills, and talents they have.

What You Need

What to Do

  1. Write the word role on the board. Ask students to define it or to provide examples of what a role is. (Expect answers to focus on dramatic roles.) Tell students that most people have many roles they must assume in a variety of daily settings. Using yourself as an example, discuss the types of professional, personal, and social roles you have in your life.
  2. Select one of your roles to develop (for example: teacher) and write it on the board. Ask volunteers to list the kinds of responsibilities a teacher has. Next, ask what kinds of skills are necessary for successful teaching. Finally, ask what kinds of talents might make teaching unique and special.
  3. Ask students to brainstorm a list of possible roles middle school students might assume. This list might include the roles of student, daughter or son, friend, teammate, baby sitter, manager, band member, actor in a school play, girlfriend or boyfriend, and so forth.
  4. Tell students they will be making spinners that depict the many roles they each assume. Have each student draw and cut out large circles of poster board (14" to 18" is ideal). Divide the large circles into four to six equal parts. (The result will look like a pizza!) Divide each “pizza slice” into four equal horizontal strips.
  5. On the outside of each section, have students write a role, and on the next section, the responsibilities of that role. In the third section, have them list the skills needed for success in that role. In the last section, have them describe the talents that make the role special and unique.
  6. Next, have each of them cut out an arrow-shaped spinner from poster board, write his or her name on the spinner, and fasten it to the circle. Completed projects may be hung by string around the room to share and admire. They also make excellent locker or bedroom door decorations!