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Teaching Adolescents about the Gender Spectrum and Gender Norms in Society

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Gender in Short Stories and Poetry, developed by SOGI Education (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Education), provides educators with a lesson plan on gender identity and expression and the effects of societal norms regarding acceptable gendered behavior. The lesson plan is developed for use in any English class from grades 8 to 12, with a focus on how gender is presented in various literary works. The introduction to the lesson includes questions on how students come to understand their own gender. Next, students read several stories and poems regarding gender identity and norms, and work together in groups to discuss the character’s gender identity and expression within the story. There is also information on how teachers can best assess students’ learning in this module, as well as ideas for possible lesson extensions and homework.