Session 5:

What makes me who I am?

Session overview

We all have an element of ‘programming’ — at a subconscious level — to think, believe and act in particular ways. This programming results from the many influences upon us, some of which were explored last time. These can include what others have told us, what we have told ourselves and all of our life experiences, good or bad. We learned about identity during Sessions Two and Three — the person we are and who we believe makes our choices.

In Session Four, we looked at some things that might influence our identity, the choices we make and how this can lead to others actually deciding our choices for us, often without us even realising or acknowledging the fact.

During this session, pupils will explore the basic human needs that we all have, which can also subconsciously influence our decisions.

A. Session aims & objectives

  • Understand the concept of ‘basic needs’ that drive our choices at any given time

  • Understand some of the indicators of vulnerability

  • Begin to understand how needs, choices and vulnerability are linked

B. Learning outcomes

    • I can identify how my choices may be influenced by basic needs and explain what these needs are

    • I understand what the term ‘vulnerable’ means

    • I can identify things that might make people vulnerable

    • I can recognise how people might become susceptible to negative influences

C. Terminology introduced

Example definitions of key terminology are included but, wherever possible, use pupils’ own agreed descriptions as per previous sessions.

CHOICE: Act of choosing. The opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities. The opportunity or power to make a decision.

VULNERABILITY: Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. Also morally or ideologically criticised or tempted.

Within this scheme of work, vulnerability describes the condition that young people can find themselves due to a changing society that can leave them more susceptible to being preyed upon. Technological advances such as social media can heighten this.

ROLE MODEL: A person who serves as an example, particularly because of their values, attitudes, and behaviours.

D. Resources required

Pupils handheld devices (eg iPads, Chromebooks)

❏ Checklist for Session Five

❏ Resource Sheets:

5a. Identifying with Karl

5b. In the park

(Used as an optional extension activity or for optional homework)

❏ Slide pack for Session Five

  1. Session title

  2. Basic human needs (choice theory)

  3. Need 1: Survival

  4. Need 2: Power

  5. Need 3: Love & Belonging

  6. Need 4: choose

  7. Need 5: Fun

  8. Vulnerable

  9. Definition of ‘vulnerable’

  10. Things to look out for - Indicators of vulnerability

  11. British Values

E. Assessment opportunities

If pupils completed the homework from the previous session, they could use this to establish a baseline level of understanding around similarities and differences. Additionally, activity three offers an opportunity to test pupils’ knowledge of what drives vulnerability.

Starter activity: Session four recap and basic human needs

If pupils completed Resource Sheet 4c: Similarities and differences as homework, spend a few moments reviewing this, drawing out that groups often form to satisfy particular needs that we all have. We all have things that make us similar and different to others - these should be celebrated and acknowledged as part of what makes us unique, whether we are part of a group or not.

Pupils will look at the five basic needs that all people experience, how they drive the choices we make, and which of those needs are most prevalent at the time we make that choice. It’s important to explain that everyone has these needs, and it is perfectly natural to act upon them when making choices. You may want to ask pupils whether they can identify some of their own decisions and link them to the needs upon which those choices were based.

Recap and review ground rules as a class.

Discuss any rules created that worked well, together with any that didn’t work – do they need to change?

Make amendments if required. Either way, ensure that pupils understand why we have ground rules and why they are essential.

Introduce Learning Outcomes for this session.


Last time we learned how groups historically acted out of a need to survive, one of five basic needs we all have as humans. Today we will look at those five basic needs that all people experience and consider how they drive the way we act and the choices we make:

  1. To survive

  2. To have power

  3. To love and belong

  4. To be free, to choose

  5. To have fun and enjoy life for its own sake

More or less, we are motivated by each of these basic human needs.


Slides 2-7: Definitions of these terms and the drivers of choice

Ensure pupils clearly understand these terms and how they drive our choices. If the concept is a little abstract for pupils, you may wish to discuss examples for each term as you work through the slides, coming up with pupil friendly definitions as per previous sessions.

Activity one: Marcus and Karl

Pupils will continue reading the story (you may wish to recap what you read during the last session). When they have finished, the class should reflect upon and discuss the questions around influence.


We will now read more of the story, focusing on the two brothers (Karl and Marcus) and the influences shaping their identities.

Hand out devices for pupils to read the interactive story from where they read last time to the third check point.

For pupils using iPads: To progress from the first checkpoint it will ask for check point 1 password (identity) and to progress from the second checkpoint it will ask for check point 2 password (influence).

For pupils using non-iPad devices: Read Episode 3.


  • What, if anything, has changed about Marcus?

  • Which of his needs (from the list) most drive his choices/actions?

  • Who, if anyone, is influencing him?

  • How has the way he acts changed?

  • Has his identity changed? Is this a positive or negative change?

Facilitate a class discussion around the questions to give pupils the chance to reflect on each other’s opinions.

Activity two: Exploring vulnerability

Pupils will explore the term ‘vulnerable’ to understand how others can negatively influence people. They will then identify areas of potential vulnerability to which we all may be susceptible. These indicators are established using appropriate examples that teachers will need to select based upon a knowledge of their pupils.


We can all be vulnerable to negative influences, and vulnerability comes from our needs. These needs can affect how we behave or our ‘psychology’.


Slide 8: Vulnerable

Discuss the term and leave the slide on the screen for the next part of this activity.

Working in small groups/tables, pupils should come up with reasons that someone may be vulnerable to the negative influences of individuals or groups. Needs drive these vulnerabilities and, in turn, impact our choices.

Take brief feedback from each group.


Slide 10: Things to look out for (indicators of potential vulnerability)

Using the output given by pupils, the teacher should identify appropriate examples for at least three areas of vulnerability. They should explain to pupils how anyone may become vulnerable to negative influences driven by a lack of identity, low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness or a belief that they or their family may be in danger or under threat.

Activity three: Marcus' vulnerabilities

Pupils will now reflect on Marcus’ vulnerability and see how this relates to the indicators discussed in the previous activity. In this part of the story, we explore Marcus’ need to belong and how it drives his behaviour and choices. These choices lead towards potentially harmful actions and influences, causing conflict, uncertainty and Marcus’ struggle to establish who he is and where he fits in.


On a scale of 1-5 (1 lowest, 5 highest), how vulnerable is Marcus?

Pupils should vote, standing with other classmates who voted for the same number. Ask a selection of pupils from each group for their views on how they rated Marcus’s vulnerability. Encourage discussion around their responses.

Now read the interactive story to the fourth check point.

For pupils using iPads: To progress from the 3rd checkpoint it will ask for check point 3 password (need).

For pupils using non-iPad devices: Read Episode 4.

In the story, Marcus seeks Karl’s recognition because it gives him a sense of belonging. This need makes him vulnerable, driving his choices and encouraging him to act in a certain way. By seeking to impress Karl, he has adopted, and then normalised, a way of behaving.


  • Does this back up or change what you thought when you voted before we read the story? Pupils should vote again to see if they have changed their view on Marcus’ vulnerability. The teacher should display both votes on the smartboard.


The things driving Marcus’ choices (his need to be loved and to belong) may result from his emotional vulnerabilities (low self-esteem, possibly feeling powerless). Refer back to Slide 9 if needed when discussing Marcus’ vulnerabilities. This influences his actions and, ultimately, the identity he shows to the world.



Being resilient helps us to become less vulnerable to negative influences.

To build resilience, we all need help to improve our confidence and self-esteem and to develop a sense of belonging and identity. As individuals, we can all influence others positively or negatively by how we treat them.


Slide 11: British Values

Remind pupils about the British Values of Mutual Respect and Tolerance (accepting, understanding, being open-minded, valuing difference and other people’s identities) and UNICEF Children’s Rights. We ALL have an essential role in keeping ourselves and others safe.

Pupils should think about someone their age, at a similar school to ours.


  • What negative influences might make them vulnerable?

Pupils should discuss this with a partner. The teacher should acknowledge any points raised with brief feedback.

Review terminology, any new language and key learning introduced today.

Teaching Tip

This might be an opportunity to link in with any other work going on in school around the British Values agenda.
Pupils could add vulnerabilities they identify to Resource Sheet 3a: My resilience, previously covered in sessions three and four.

Optional extension / homework activity

Hand out Resource Sheet 5a: Identifying with Karl to half the class. Hand out Resource Sheet 5b: In the park to the other half.


Pupils should review and note which basic needs might influence Marcus’ choices.

Delivery resources

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 5 Checklist.pdf

Delivery checklist

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 5 Resource Sheet(s).pdf

Resource sheet(s)

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 5 Slides (PDF Version).pdf

Slides (PDF)

Lime 2021-22 Year 5 Session 5 Slides (PowerPoint Version).pptx

Slides (PowerPoint)

For iPad Marcus' story app users

Check point 1 password: identity

For iPad Marcus' story app users

Check point 2 password: influence

For iPad Marcus' story app users

Check point 3 password: need

For non-iPad Marcus' story users

Access code: p2xrp