Authors: Orlaith Egan
Grade Levels: Elementary School: 2nd Grade
This is Part 1 of the 2-part Pride Parade for LGBTQ+ Families lesson plan. It can be used as a standalone.
Students will examine the relationship of modern-day families to the history of their community through exploring the importance of Pride for LGBTQ+ families. This is a two-part lesson in which students will engage with the storybook ‘This Day in June’, which welcomes readers to experience a Pride celebration, and therefore (1) examine the origins of Pride- the Stonewall Riots, and (2) discuss the struggle for Marriage Equality in the United States.
Time: 45 minutes
Lesson Plan Resources:
- Students will explore the ongoings of a Pride celebration.
- Students will identify the relevance of the 1969 Stonewall Riots to Pride today.
- What about your family and loved ones are you proud of?
- What is something that could happen to your family that would make you want to protest and speak up about?
HSS 2.1 Students differentiate between things that happened long ago and things that happened yesterday.
HSS 2.5 Students understand the importance of individual action and character and explain how heroes from long ago and the recent past have made a difference in others’ lives.
CCSS SL 2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
HISTORY FRAMEWORK CH 5 P 48 By studying the stories of a diverse collection of families—such as immigrant families, families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender parents and their children, families of color, step- and blended families, families headed by single parents, extended families, multigenerational families, families with members having a disability, families from different religious traditions, and adoptive families—students can both locate themselves and their own families in history and learn about the lives and historical struggles of their peers.
HISTORY FRAMEWORK CH 5 P 52 Students learn about a variety of men, women, and children whose contributions can be appreciated by young children and whose achievements have directly or indirectly touched the students’ lives or the lives of others.
LGBTQ+ Family: a family in which some people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary or queer. This could include parents, guardians, foster parents, children, chosen family, siblings or grandparents who are LGBTQ+.
Queer: an umbrella term for people who fall outside the gender and sexuality “norms”; historically a negative term; it has been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community, although some still consider it derogatory.
Pride: the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward the LGBTQ+ community to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance; most notably expressed through parades and festivals.
Homophobia: fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
Transphobia: fear, hatred, discomfort with, or mistrust of people who are transgender, genderqueer, or don’t adhere to traditional gender norms.
Dressing in Drag: wearing clothes considered appropriate for someone of another gender.
The teacher should be aware that students may have families with two moms or two dads; stepparents; a transgender parent or parents; adoptive parents; or foster parents. It is important to find out the language students use to refer to their families to help respectfully answer questions that may arise. Furthermore, when there is a student with same-gender parents, it is important not to put that student in the position of teaching other children about their family. That is the responsibility of the educator, not the student.
‘This Day in June’ provides a very comprehensive and accessible reading guide at the back of the book, and also some notes for parents and educators on how to talk to children age appropriately about the contents of this book. It would be very useful for teachers to familiarize themselves with both of these prior to teaching this lesson, especially the information on the Stonewall Riots and Marriage Equality.
The teacher should also be familiar with the current-day challenges for LGBTQ+ families and why Pride is as relevant and necessary today as ever. The Pride Parade is something that is celebrated in the US, however in other countries around the world where LGBTQ+ rights have not yet been established, it is a protest rather than a ‘celebration’.
- ‘This Day In June’ book by Gayle E. Pitman, or projector to play recorded reading
- Photographs of Stonewall Inn now and during the 1969 protests
Introduction (10 minutes)
- Ask students the following:
- Have they ever been to a march or a parade with their families?
- Were you celebrating or protesting something?
- Did you make posters or wear something special?
- Did you chant, sing or dance?
- Tell students that we are going to be reading a book that explores a special celebration for LGBTQ+ people and families called ‘Pride’. Clarify what LGBTQ+ stands for if necessary.
- Ask students have any of them ever been to Pride before and if so would they like to share what they remember about the day
- Explain to students that LGBTQ+ people and families have not always, and in a lot of places in the world, still don’t have equal rights to those of heterosexual people and families. Over the past century, the LGBTQ+ community in America have fought hard to stand up for themselves and be seen and treated as equals by society and the law. Pride is now a day where they can celebrate all that has been achieved, be present and proud, and further protest against the discrimination and violence that still exists in the form of homophobia and transphobia.
Reading and Discussion (20 minutes)
- Introduce the book, ‘This Day In June’:
- Read the title of the book and show students the cover- ask them to describe what they see
- Read the book (note if you do not have access to the book, you can show the following video reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VI8UgEkH-c
- Discussion questions to consider:
- What is your favorite picture in the book?
- Can you see any children like you?
- Who are they with?
- Are there any families in this book that remind you of your family? If so, in what way?
- What do you consider to be the most important thing that makes a family?
- Discussion Points to consider:
- The Stonewall Riots
- The title and the first sentence in this book reads: “This day in June.” Worldwide, Pride is traditionally held in June to honor the Stonewall Riots, a very important event in LGBTQ+ US history.
- Show students the attached picture #1 of Stonewall Inn.
- This is a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York. Back in the 1960s this bar was routinely raided by the police who often hurt and arrested the people in the bar for being gay or dressing in drag. On June 28, 1969, these people decided to stand up for themselves and fight back against the police. This sparked a three-day protest, known as the Stonewall Riots. Many people came together as a result of this protest and formed organizations that would continue to fight for LGBTQ+ equality.
- Do you think this would have been a scary time in NYC for LGBTQ+ people? Do you think LGBTQ+ people needed the support of their friends and families during this time? Can you think of anything you might have done to help if you were alive then?
- The Stonewall Riots
Photograph activity (15 minutes)
- Hand out or display the photograph source deck.
- Show students the attached picture #2 of Stonewall Inn on pride 2016 and #3 of Stonewall protesters standing up to a police guard in 1969.
- Inform students that picture #2 was taken at a Pride parade 2 days after Barack Obama designated the area around Stonewall Inn as the first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights.
- Ask children to compare and contrast picture 2 and 3:
- How are the people feeling in picture #2?
- How has this changed in picture #3? How has the body language of the people changed towards the police officer in picture #2 to the national guard in picture #3?
Pitman, Gayle E. “This Day In June.” Magination Press, 2014, Washington DC.
“This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman – reading by Soho Parish Primary.” youtube. Educate & Celebrate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VI8UgEkH-c.
Orlaith Egan is an elementary school teacher in San Francisco, CA. She undertook an Education Internship at Our Family Coalition in San Francisco, during 2018-2019.