The Westward Movement and Charley Parkhurst

This lesson will increase student’s understanding of Charley Parkhurst and his gender and important contributions in the context of the founding of California and the Westward movement in the mid 1880s. Note that the context of this lesson may be set in 4th, 5th, or 8th grade history content.

Remembering Charley Parkhurst: New Opportunities in Gold Rush Era California

This inquiry-based lesson explores the life of Charley Parkhurst, who was born female but lived, and gained fame, as a stagecoach driver in late nineteenth century California. The lesson is envisioned as one, among several, that would explore the consequences of the Gold Rush and statehood in California. This lesson centers around gender expression, within a broader conversation about opportunities available to migrants to California during the Gold Rush Era.

A Place in the Middle

A Place in the Middle is the true story of Ho'onani, a remarkable eleven year old girl who dreams of leading the hula troupe at her inner-city Honolulu school. The only trouble is that the group is just for boys. She's fortunate that her teacher understands first-hand what it's like to be “in the middle” - the Native Hawaiian tradition of embracing both male and female spirit. As student and teacher prepare for a climactic end-of-year performance, together they set out to prove that what matters most is what’s inside a person’s heart and mind.

What is Marriage Equality?

On June 26, 2015, in a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court of the United States held that the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize marriages lawfully performed in other jurisdictions. This means that marriage equality is now the law of the land in all 50 states. Prior to this historic day, 37 states plus the District of Columbia had legalized marriage for same-sex couples. This lesson provides an opportunity for students to explore marriage equality, gain background information about it, and reflect on their own thoughts and feelings about marriage equality.

What is a Hate Crime?

In this lesson, students learn the definition of “hate” and how to use alternate words, discover and understand how national laws are made and apply that understanding to the concept of government protection.

Gender Roles During the Gold Rush

This lesson seeks to introduce students to the California Gold Rush by examining the gender stereotypes of the time. This lesson asks students to consider how gender roles and stereotypes have changed since the Gold Rush.

Two Spirit and Non-Traditional Families

This lesson seeks to introduce students to different family models, specifically through comparing American and Native American culture. This lesson also seeks to define what it means to be Two Spirit and to discuss personal family narratives.