Introduction Exercise for a Biology Class

Amber Wyman

As part of initial introductions, students will be asked to write down one part of their identity that they believe is related to biology.


  • Gender expression
  • Body hair
  • Facial shape
  • Skin, eye, hair color
  • Personality expressions

Students will be given 3×5 cards to write down these identifiers.  Ideally, very little guidance will be given as to the types of information that would qualify as “biological” to see how students self-identify these types of traits. The instructor then collects the cards.

Ways to use the information:

  • Other students in the class choose a card at random, then try to identify who the card belongs to and why they think that. Discussion can focus on how these biological identifiers affect how we interact with other types of cultural identifiers.
  • Cards will be kept until later in the quarter, at which point we will discuss whether the students still believe these aspects of identity are biologically based or culturally based, or both; what are the intersections of cultural training with biological traits?


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Diversity and Social Justice - Faculty Guide (2021 Edition) Copyright © 2021 by Amber Wyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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