Lesson Plan: Supporting the Use of Non-Binary Pronouns in Schools
II. While Reading Activities
- Transgender |transˈjendərtranzˈjendər| (also transgendered) adjective denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex. Compare with cisgender: a transgender activist and author | the series will chronicle a group of Chicago women united by the shared experience of being transgender.
- nonbinary |ˌnänˈbīnərē| adjective • denoting or relating to a gender or sexual identity that is not defined in terms of traditional binary oppositions such as male and female or homosexual and heterosexual: nonbinary people are vastly underrepresented in the media.
- gender |ˈjendər| noun 1 the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones): traditional concepts of gender | [as modifier] : gender roles.
- anxious |ˈaNG(k)SHəs| adjective1 experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome: she was extremely anxious about her exams.
- trend |trend| noun 1 a general direction in which something is developing or changing: an upward trend in sales and profit margins.
- suburban |səˈbərbən| adjective of or characteristic of a suburb: suburban life. [suburb |ˈsəbərb| noun an outlying district of a city, especially a residential one.]
- oppose |əˈpōz| verb [with object] disapprove of and attempt to prevent, especially by argument: those of you who oppose capital punishment.
- collaboration |kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n| noun1 the action of working with someone to produce or create something: he wrote on art and architecture in collaboration with his classmates.
- misgender |misˈjendər| verb [with object] refer to (someone, especially a transgender person) using a word, especially a pronoun or form of address, that does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify: various media outlets have continued to misgender her.
- angst |äNG(k)st| noun a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general: adolescent angst.
Grammar Focus: Identifying Prepositions
Devoll, the school’s principal for 13 years, wanted to know how they could fix it. Barker believes consistency is the key. She gave Devoll a copy of a form that’s gone viral, created by a Pennsylvania middle school science teacher who runs an Instagram site called Teaching Outside the Binary. Barker praised the form’s inclusion of an option for students to decide who should know their new identity, including whether guardians and parents should be on the list. “That’s for their safety,” Barker says. “They don’t feel comfortable being out to their parents, but in school, they have found safety in being able to express their true selves.”
Reading Comprehension Identify The Speakers
- “I think it’s not asking very much to simply ask a child what they would like to be called.” Rick Cusolito, Alia’s father and a business coach at Fidelity.
- “I think everyone who cares about children is on a learning curve. Our understanding of gender identity has evolved in the last decade.” Maggie Charron, assistant principal at High Rock School, an all-sixth-grade school in Needham.
- Advocates say the pronoun/name forms are necessary for health and safety reasons. “Simply respecting a student’s chosen name and pronoun is the single most important thing you can do to prevent suicide and mental health issues.” Kimm Topping, program manager of the Massachusetts Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students
- “Expanding the curriculum and letting students be called what they want in school are both part of making schools safer.” Jen Manion, an Amherst College professor of history and of sexuality, women’s, and gender studies.
- “What other emotional and mental labor do queer and trans kids need to put in before we’ll be shown basic respect?” Alia Cusolito, a sophomore at Old Rochester Regional High School in Mattapoisett.