Lesson Plan Created by Maya Young
SUMMARY + PERSONAL NOTE
I recall a time when I loved playing with all the “girly” essentials as a child. Barbies, tutus, tiaras, makeup… you name it, I either had it or I wanted it. I saw the way that girls and women were portrayed on magazine covers, in movies, TV shows, and even in books, and I sought to be like them. Growing up, I eventually recognized that these portrayals are actually expectations that are normalized throughout society and media. Not only do these expectations exist for women, but they exist for other genders, sexualities, races, and ethnicities, as well.
The book I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, tells the true tale of a woman who saw through these expectations and decidedly made a name for herself as a renowned Supreme Court Justice and feminist figure. The author details Ginsburg’s life and the events that brought her to where she is today. Through these descriptions, it becomes apparent that while Ginsburg does proclaim her dissent quite frequently, it does not make her a disagreeable person. Instead, her dissent proves herself to be a prominent figure in speaking out for equality, and ensuring that people are treated and represented fairly, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender.
READ THE BOOK
Why should or shouldn’t an individual’s identity determine their passions, hobbies, and/or professions?
How do your peers that share your group identities live their lives? Is it similar or different than how you live yours?
How does the author compare dissenting and disagreeing?
ACTIVITIES AFTER READING
Encourage your child to construct a list of characteristics that they like about themselves.
Have a discussion with your child about following their passions and ignoring external expectations.
First, ask your child to list things that they are passionate about.
Then, ask your child to list things that they feel they should be passionate about based on their identity (perhaps based on pressure from fellow students, their friends, their teachers, or even their parents).
TEACHING TOLERANCE SOCIAL JUSTICE STANDARDS USED IN THIS LESSON PLAN
Identity 2: I can talk about interesting and healthy ways that some people who share my group identities live their lives.
Identity 3: I know that all my group identities are part of me,- but that I am always ALL me.
Identity 4: I can feel good about myself without being mean or making other people feel bad.
Extended Learning More Great Books about Feminism
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! This inspiring children’s read features a diverse range of inspirational women and delves into their impacts on society.
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World This great read gives a voice to those who want to speak up when they are told to be silent and encourages people to do so.
This book details the lives of many profound women who have sought to create change and stand-up for themselves and others.