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Learn All Year Long

Kids and teens should read and write even when they are out of school. Why is this so important?

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Activity

Afterschool and Summer Reading with LGBTQ Content

 

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Afterschool and Summer Reading with LGBTQ Content

Grades 6 – 12
Activity Time 30 minutes (can be repeated multiple times)
Activity Author

Jena Borah

Jena Borah

Charleston, Illinois

 
Publisher National Council of Teachers of English
 

What You Need

Here's What To Do

More Ideas To Try

 

What You Need

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Here's What To Do

  1. Look over the handouts Books with LGBTQ Characters and Finding the Right Book. If you would like to limit the book options, print the book list and cut out your selected books. Present the slips of paper to your student and let them choose. If possible, find copies of each book to make the choices even more appealing.
  2. Help your student obtain the chosen book through the library, friends, or a bookseller.  Considering getting a copy for yourself so you both can read and discuss.
  3. Refer to the handout Discussing a Book Together for ways to promote discussion.
  4. If your student is a reluctant to discuss, offer your own observations and questions about the book to coax them into discussion. Do not, however, force a discussion. Remember that the goal is to encourage reading.
  5. If your student does not feel comfortable discussing the book with you, suggest they record private thoughts and questions in a response journal. This can simply be a spiral notebook. To offer ideas for writing, see Discussing a Book Together.
  6. Show your student the Literary Elements Map, an online visualization tool that helps them analyze characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Try filling it out together.
  7. As questions arise, such as “What does the law say about LBGTQ rights?” do some internet research together. Websites such as Lambda Legal and The Human Rights Campaign are especially useful.
  8. When the book is completed, find it on Amazon or Goodreads and read a few reviews. Ask your student if they agree or disagree with the reviews.  Suggest the student write a review too. Resources such as the Book Review Form, How to Help a Child Write a Book Review, and the Book Review Template may be helpful.
  9. When your student finishes the book, Encourage them to read another book from the list of Books with LGBTQ Characters (or a book from the podcast episode Gay and Lesbian Characters in Young Adult Literature) and repeat the process.

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More Ideas To Try

  • Find others to read with you and form a book club.
  • If your student likes to draw, try Literary Graffiti as a way to respond to the book.
  • Encourage your student to write to the author of a book they enjoyed.
  • To learn more about support and advocacy for the LGBTQ community, attend a local PFLAG meeting. Larger cities might also have an LGBTQ community center that provides youth activities.
  • If your student is on social media, suggest they follow GSA Network or GSLEN or The Trevor Project to stay informed.

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