Instructional Lessons

Online Lesson Plan for Increasing Awareness and Respect toward the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Community

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Think B4 You Speak, developed by the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in the U.S.A., provides teachers with a resource guide and lesson plan to combat homophobic language by teaching youth about the impact and effect of this language on sexual and gender minority students. Developed for use with high school age students, Think B4 You Speak can be taught as a single lesson, or split into several shorter lessons, depending on the age of the students and time constraints. The resource guide provides an introduction that establishes ground rules for respectful classroom conduct of students, and addresses how to handle potential pushback from students or parents. The lesson also provides a history of homophobia and the impact that homophobic language has on LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ students alike, and step-by-step instructions on how to teach this curriculum. There are several formats for the lessons, including short videos about the use of homophobic remarks, ideas for engaging in class discussions about the impact of language, and reflective writing exercises for which students write about their own experiences using homophobic language or being on the receiving end of homophobic language.

Overall the purpose of the guide is to provide students with information regarding the impact of words (not just homophobic language), the history of homophobia, how to make better word choices that do not offend, and how to be an ally for peers who get picked on. Although specifically geared toward homophobic language, the Think B4 You Speak lesson plan provides a general lesson on how language can be used to hurt others and the impact this can have on marginalized individuals.