Caroline Forbes

LGBTQ in First grade classrooms

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LGBTQ in First grade classrooms
Grade K-2

Unit Overview:

Everyday children see symbols around their home and community and many times are unaware of the meaning and power behind these symbols. In this unit plan, we will explore many symbols that focus explicitly on advancing and fighting for LGBTQ rights. These symbols will be looked at as a type of art and how they promote LGBTQ in the eyes of a child. The art of a child is an empowering way for young children to fight for what they believe and want to represent in this world. Many children are aware of the gender symbols that represent male and female but now we will begin discussing the symbols they have seen that represent the LGBTQ community. As the law for legalizing gay marriages was just past, it is important for the upcoming generation is aware and able to make their own decision no matter the age. These students will be taught a variety of valuable lessons incorporating art, LGBTQ, symbols, signage, books, community views, and what it took to pass this law and how it will affect the future.

Many young students may grow up apart of the LGBTQ community and others will have close family members and friends who are gay as well. It is important for children to grow up making their own decisions and thinking for themselves. During this unit, my goal for my students will be to get the facts about LGBTQ symbols, art, and family that are necessary for them to make their own opinions as they grow up. This unit will take place after our family unit so the students will be knowledgeable about the topics and the different lives of those around us. Although the law for gay marriage has been passed, there is still a lot that needs to change in our society to give the people of the LGBTQ community equal rights. This is where the students will be able to take action to address this issue.


This unit is designed to educate students on the issue of equal rights for the LGBTQ community and relate it to art, literature, and symbols seen in the community.

- Students will identify symbols that correspond with the fight for equal rights.
- Students will define elements of symbols and art that encourage public awareness and change for LGBTQ people.
- Students will define relationship between activism, art, books, and nature.
- Students will engage in discussions and group readings.


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.1o Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
o Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4o Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7o Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.3o Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.7o Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.2o Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.4o Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.

Materials or Resources Needed:

  • And Tango Makes Three
  • Best Best Colors
  • Mommy, Moma, and Me
  • Donovan’s Big Day

Activities or Procedures:

Day 1: (first detailed day)

  • Students will be introduced to the topic of LGBTQ and the focus on equality.

  • We will begin with an overview of the different types of families and family symbols that we discussed last unit. Students will be asked many review questions and will have to discuss one point they remember with their partner.

  • As a class, we will then read begin our reading process for the book And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richards. We will begin by brainstorming what we think And Tango Makes Three will be about. We will locate the title, author, main characters, scenery, symbols, and use our background knowledge to predict what the story will be about.

  • As we begin reading, each student will be asked to listen to me read the story once then discuss the topic questions as a group. We will create a KWL chart about what we learned in the story; we will also have a symbols column in the KWL chart to show the symbols we already knew, learned from the story, and still want to know. This will lead into our topic about the LGBTQ community and gay marriages.

  • My students will learn about what it means to be gay and how that affects the story and their lives. We will talk about the parents that Tango had and why he had two daddies.

Day 2-5

  • Discuss the Who Can Marry Whom article
  • Read Donovan’s Big Day by Leslea Newman
  • Read about new laws being made.
    • o “Can Jorge’s dads get married? I thought two men couldn’t get married.”
    • o “Yes, his dads can get married now. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that all the states should allow two men, two women, or a man and a woman to get married.”

Day 6-9
  • Make symbol tree relating to Tango
- Students will be read the story one more time and then be broken into groups where they had to make a family tree representing symbols that were discussed previously in the family unit. In their groups, students will be creating a family tree of Tango’s family and comparing it to their family tree made from the family unit before.
  • Read Best Best Color
  • Talk about symbols relating to LGBTQ
  • Make individual favorite color flag- Discuss the LGBTQ flag representation
  • List places they see symbols and what they mean in that location

Day 11-15
  • Read Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman.
  • Discuss what LGBTQ people do with their families- what do my students do with their own families
  • Talk about what the characters in the book might do with their families

Day 16-20
  • Have guest speaker- Lesbian (talking about what that means)
  • Have guest speaker- Transgender (talking about family)
  • Have guest speaker- Gay/ Bi (talking about love)
  • Have guest speaker- Queer (talking about marriage)

Day 21-25
  • Watch Frozen to show “Let it go” – Elsa coming out of the closet
  • Review at beginning and end of class
  • Discuss what parts of Elsa could make her part of the LGBTQ community


My lesson will accommodate all students including children with developmental delays, ELL, learning impairments, and accelerated learners. I use multiple means of representation, engagement, and expression.


The unit lesson will be connected with our year lesson and piggybacked on our lesson about families. This will be a topic that many students face as they grow up and the issues surrounding LGBTQ will not decrease until equality is met. I will continue to use positive classroom culture and inclusive language to promote unity.