Rather than a static set of lessons in a particular sequence, the following provides a spiral framework that can be applied to all grades. Taught using developmentally appropriate approaches and materials, the sequence engages students in a circular path of learning that exemplifies gender’s complex and iterative nature.
Unit One: Gender, Society and Me
What images do we receive about gender and where do they come from? Students will reflect upon their gender experiences and identify some of the messages they receive about gender from the world around them. Ultimately, students will be encouraged to consider the complexity of gender and the many ways it is perceived, interacted with and shaped by individuals and by those around them.
Unit Two: Gender 101
What is gender? In these lessons, students will become familiar with what gender is and all of the diverse ways that people can experience gender. It includes a developmentally appropriate focus on the three dimensions of gender (body, identity and social gender) and gender congruence. This unit will also include an introduction to the distinction between binary and spectrum models and the ways that individuals identify that include binary and non-binary identities. This unit also includes an examination of the language of gender and how it evolves to capture this unique aspect of self.
Unit Three: Gender Across Time and Space
How is gender understood and experienced in different ways across time and culture? Students will be introduced to the idea that the way one society thinks about and defines gender is not the only ways that it can be understood. In this unit, students will learn about and engage with different societies, across geography, culture and time, and be asked to reflect on how different people and societies make sense of gender. They will also examine various ways in which gender expression, roles and terminology have shifted in the United States (and beyond) over time.
Unit Four: What Now?
Why is it important to understand gender? Students will be asked to use all that they have learned about gender to reflect upon how they can understand and relate to themselves and others. This unit will encourage them to consider some of the ways in which they have been affected by gender expectations, how they can recognize their own gender story and how they can advocate for greater understanding and support of people who face discrimination based on their gender. They will ultimately address the question, “What does gender inclusion mean to me and why is it important?"