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Lesson Plans

Curriculum Connections

Unheard Voices: Stories of LGBT History


Topic: LGBTQ People and Homophobia/Heterosexism

Grade Level: Middle School, High School

Common Core Standards: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language

In response to the lack of representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in school curricula and disproportionate incidents of bullying and violence against LGBT youth, ADL, GLSEN and StoryCorps collaborated to create Unheard Voices, an oral history and curriculum project that will help educators to integrate LGBT history, people and issues into their instructional programs.

At the core of the program are brief audio interviews with individuals who bore witness to or helped to shape LGBT history in some way. Each interview is accompanied by a backgrounder with discussion questions and activities for educators, and a student reading with biographical information about the interview subject and historical background on the era.

In addition, several lesson plans are included for middle and high school students that explore broad themes—such as silence and invisibility, inclusion and exclusion, and name-calling—as well as specific topics related to the interviews, such as marriage equality and gender identity. One or more oral histories are integrated into each lesson plan.

[Lesson to be updated in 2015 after the Supreme Court ruling.]

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