Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
334 pages
8.5 x 11 inches
August 2020
Print ISBN: 9781773381664


Teaching about Gender Diversity is an edited collection of teacher-tested interdisciplinary lesson plans that provides K–12 teachers with the tools to implement gender-inclusive practices into their curriculum and talk to their students about gender and sex. Divided into three sections dedicated to the elementary, middle, and secondary grade levels, this practical resource provides lessons for a variety of subject areas, including English language arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and health and physical education. The lessons range from reading aloud early literacy picture books that use gender-neutral language and highlight the gendered experiences of characters to engaging mathematics in the study of targeting gender terminology, stereotypes, and the social construction of binary gender.

Written by teachers for teachers, this engaging collection highlights teachers’ specialized knowledge of pedagogical practices for the diverse contemporary classroom. More than 30 contributors from across North America provide their varied perspectives on the timely issue of teaching about gender in the classroom. Teaching about Gender Diversity is an ideal resource for students taking education courses on gender, sexuality, diversity and equity, curriculum design, and professional practice.


  • detailed lesson plans that include next steps and extension ideas
  • practice-based, guided approach
  • practical resource for pre-service and in-service teachers

Related Titles

Table of Contents


An Introduction to Teaching about Gender Diversity: Stating Your Why, Finding Your Starting Place, and Creating Classrooms That Can Welcome All the Ways We Live Gender
Lee Airton and Susan W. Woolley

SECTION I: Elementary (K–5)
Introduction to Gender Diversity in Elementary: The Lay of the Land

English Language Arts

Using Read-Alouds to Promote a Gender-Inclusive Learning Environment
Alisha Sarang­-Sieminski

Learning about Transgender Identities through Story: 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert
Kate Paterson

For Every Gender: Being Who We Are
Katherine Lewis


More to Finding Nemo: Sex-Shifting Fish as Reproductive Strategy
Meg Gardner

What Does It Mean to Be Equal?
Katherine Baker, Bryan Fede, and Summer Melody Pennell

Health and Physical Education, Advisory, and Homeroom

“All I Want to Be Is Me”: Interrogating the Gender Dualism in Early Learning
Jessica Prioletta

Gender Diversity: Me in HD
Ashleigh Talbott and Sonja Mackenzie

Nothing to Fear: Teaching to Transcend Transphobia in Catholic Contexts
Ryan Colwell and Cory Wright-Maley

We All Change and Grow: An Introduction to Puberty Education
Julia Feldman-DeCoudreaux

SECTION II: Middle Years (6–9)
Introduction to Gender Diversity in the Middle Years: The Lay of the Land

English Language Arts

Gender Fanzines: Developing Gender Literacy through Popular Culture
Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

Privilege and Practice: Examining Gender through Personal Narrative
Matthew Jeffries, Ashley Boyd, Nicole Ferry, and Johnna Lash


A Critical Approach to Teaching Data Management and Analysis Categories
Mario I. Suárez and Kim B. Wright

Health and Physical Education, Advisory, and Homeroom

The Festival of Puberty
benjamin lee hicks

On the Threshold of Awesomeness
benjamin lee hicks

Reclaiming Our Selves: Healing toward Gender Autonomy in Our Classrooms
Angel Rubiel Gonzalez

SECTION III: Secondary (10–12)
Introduction to Gender Diversity in Secondary: The Lay of the Land

English Language Arts

"Boys and Girls": Examining Gender Roles
Savannah Brittner

Constructing Character in Dramatic Monologues
Kim Kelly

What Is Drag?
Armen Shahnazarian

Social Studies

Constructing an Equitable Society
Milo Chesnut

(Re)Learning Gendered Language
Cheyenne Wyzzard-Jones

Using School Audits as an Equity Lens: Understanding the Experiences of Gender Diverse Students
Meg Gardner

Cultures of Gender
Milo Chesnut


Beyond the Binary: Are There Really Only Two Sexes?
Allison Gonsalves, Dawn Wiseman, Luke Vanderzwet, Kathleen Raea Spencer, and Véronique Cartier-Archambault

Mathematical Modelling Activity: The Spread of Gender-Inclusive Pronouns
Kyle Whipple, Susan Staats, and K. C. Harrison

Health and Physical Education, Advisory, and Homeroom

From “Real” Boys and Girls to “Real” Men and Women
Samuel Long

Pronoun Challenge
Milo Chesnut

Jacob Licker


Editor Biographies

Author Biographies

Susan W. Woolley

Susan W. Woolley is Associate Professor of Educational Studies and Director of the LGBTQ Studies Program at Colgate University, New York. Susan’s interdisciplinary research and teaching contribute to the fields of anthropology of education, language and literacy studies, gender and sexuality studies, and LGBT and queer studies.

Lee Airton

Lee Airton is Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Education at Queen’s University, Ontario. Lee’s teaching, research, and advocacy work focus on enabling individuals and institutions to welcome gender and sexual diversity. They founded the Q&A-based blog They Is My Pronoun and the No Big Deal Campaign.


“The research is clear: transgender and gender nonconforming students face more hostile school climates than their LGBQ peers. Teaching about Gender Diversity is a valuable resource for any educator who wants to create a safer, more affirming learning environment for their students. We highly recommend these teacher-tested lesson plans for bringing gender-inclusive practices into ELA, STEM, health, and PE.”

“A highly interactive text that is adaptable for various grade levels, school climates, and levels of teacher readiness, Teaching about Gender Diversity is an invaluable resource for exploring and affirming gender-expansiveness alongside youth. All educators should invest in this book.”

“To educators who are committed to just, joyous, and safer schools—particularly for gender diverse communities—this the book you have been waiting for! Teaching About Gender Diversity is full of rich classroom activities for a wide range of learners, smart and intersectional analysis and reflection from educators, and additional crucial resources such as a glossary and further readings. Beyond simply advancing equity, Woolley and Airton’s brilliantly and usefully curated collection provides fresh tools for educators to conceptualize, integrate, teach, and grow gender diversity to build the flourishing communities we need.”

“This very helpful guide provides a comprehensive, complex, and complicated analysis of gender diversities and helps educators at all levels to assess, educate, and stay current on gender inclusion. The lesson and assessment plans emphasize the best in educative approaches, pushing educators to respond to diversities in schools in thoughtful and critical ways, rethinking their lessons, their institutions’ policies, and the necessity of situating gender within cultures, race, ethnicities, places, and practices.”

“Woolley and Airton have curated a diverse collection of lessons and activities to address gender identity across North American curriculum at multiple grade levels and subject areas. The book offers a rich multiplicity of theoretical traditions and approaches to teaching and learning with gender identities, while also recognizing that … lived experiences of gender identities are context-based, fluid, and often changing. This is a standout resource that will be of great value to practising educators, teacher candidates, and teacher educators.”

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