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Language and Labels

Talking About Identity and Intersectionality

Case Study at a Glance

"Language and Labels" explores labels, such as those related to gender, ethnicity, and ability, and helps students understand and talk about their individual identities. In this case study, students examine the autonomy of identity labels, asking about labels and respecting labels that others use for themselves. Students also explore the intersectionality of different parts of their identity.

Sarah Gregory
South Hill Elementary
Pre-K - First

Guiding Questions
  • How does an understanding of intersectionality support an inclusive classroom environment?
  • How does language impact our sense of belonging?
  • How do we best converse about difference?
ICSD Anti-Marginalization Focus Questions
  • Who am I? How do I tell you that?
  • What is my identity?
  • How do I advocate for others and myself?

Narrowed Microcosm of the Big Idea

Discuss the labels that are used for students at home and at school (e.g., pronouns, nicknames, and group names, such as “guys”). Is everyone comfortable with the labels that are used to describe them? Is group language inclusive to the whole class? How do we let people know what labels we are comfortable with and how do we ask others what labels they're comfortable with?

Student Products
  • A poster of non-gendered, non-ableist language that's used to address the class as a whole group
  • Presentation to school and community members concerning inclusive labels and how to ask others about their labels