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English Language Arts

Teaching LGBTQIA* Literature in Secondary Schools

New Jersey public schools are now legally responsible for providing a LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum and teaching middle and high school students about the political, economic, and social contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. As a result, New Jersey teachers have a unique opportunity to explore gender and sexuality not only in history classes, but across the curriculum.

We will examine how teachers might invest secondary English classrooms with LGBTQ literature as well as methods for teaching it. Using seminal concepts from gender and queer theory as close-reading lenses, participants will investigate how theory is experienced – as embodied, lived, and real – in the lives of the characters in these books. Participants will also explore how to make these concepts accessible to secondary students by examining models of curriculum with LGBTQ content currently in place in local schools. Approaches relevant to whole-class novel, book club, or reading/writing workshop models of instruction will be discussed.

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The Power of Story

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Please George Hefelle for any questions.

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