PICTURE BOOK LESSON PLAN
GUIDED ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACIST READING | GRADES K+
Girls Can Do Anything by Caryl Hart
LESSON PLAN CREATION
LESSON PLAN EDITING TEAM
Kiersten Carroll, Chloe Clark & Kara Roozekranz
This lesson is a guided reading experience designed to accompany Girls Can Do Anything by Caryl Hart. Lesson content, written by Dora Bennett, a student in the UNST 421: Social Justice & Anti Bias in K12 Education course, was designed to start or deepen anti-bias conversations in families and other learning communities.
LISTEN TO THE STORY
SUMMARY & PERSONAL NOTE
As a cis-gender woman, I have heard throughout my life all the ways that other people thought I should act as a female and what I could and couldn't do as a girl growing up in a patriarchal society. I was told that I shouldn’t like math; I was told that dinosaurs and robots were toys only for boys. I was constantly told to wear dresses or to look “girly” when my favorite outfit was jeans and a random t-shirt from my closet. Even girls who grow up to be strong women are often told what jobs they can and cannot do simply because of their gender. For centuries, growing up female has felt like living in a world full of rules that made you less of a girl if you broke them, when being a girl is not something you can measure. These rules, which begin to be implemented into young girls carry through our adult life in career aspects of what jobs women are “fit for” and how a woman dresses, wear their hair, or if they have tattoos, can shift how they are viewed by personal and professional worlds.
As you read through this picture book, each page states all the many things girls can do. From what clothes to wear, how to style your hair, what sports a girl can play, to a career a girl can have, this story opens up a narrative that features a world of possibilities for all ages, showing the reader that anything is within their reach. This book states many things that girls have traditionally been told they cannot do but changes the narrative to express that girls can be and do anything and that there are no limitations to what they can do and strive for in their future. Overall this book works to empower all women no matter their background, age, or abilities, with the anthem “I’m a GIRL! I’m FANTASTIC! I’m strong, brave, and proud!”
Some Critiques to Discuss with Your Young Reader
This book features inclusive illustrations presenting girls of all races consistently throughout the book. One suggestion for the author and illustrator is that although girls of different abilities and various religious backgrounds were minimally depicted in the illustrations, they should have been featured on a more consistent level throughout each page.
This book only addresses the construct of gender in minimal and non-explicit ways through the words and illustrations from characters who dressed more "masculine" and took part in or acted in ways that has been traditionally viewed as being for boys (such as riding a skateboard, making messes, or fighting fires), but it is important to note that the construct of gender should be discussed and defined which this book does not do.
This guided reading lesson is designed to be part of a larger life-long commitment to anti-racist teaching and learning for the student and the facilitator. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper conversations and opportunities for action around racial equity in our communities. We hold the belief that being anti-racist is a process of learning (and unlearning) over time.
The Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards (focused on Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action) serve as guides for our work.
TEACHING TOLERANCE STANDARDS REFERENCED IN THIS LESSON
The Teaching Tolerance Standards and Domains referenced during discussion question development in this lesson are for Grades K+. This book, however, can be used with a wide range of ages. Here are the domains used to create the discussion questions.
Domain #1: I know and like who I am and can talk about my family and myself and name some of my group identities.
Domain #3: I know that all my group identities are part of me—but that I am always ALL me
Domain #6: I like being around people who are like me and different from me, and I can be friendly to everyone.
Domain #8: I want to know about other people and how our lives and experiences are the same and different
Domain #12: I know when people are treated unfairly.
READ + DISCUSS QUESTIONS
What are 3 of your identities? Name and describe each identity. (Identity Domain #1)
How can you get along with another person who is different from you? (Diversity Domain #6)
In this book, one page talks about a few inventions and discoveries women did in the past with pictures on a gallery wall of a few of these women, such as Alexa Canady and Hualan Chen and at the end of the book. Can you name 3 of the women they show pictures of and their career? (Diversity Domain #8)
Throughout this book, it names many awesome qualities that girls have. What are 1 or 2 awesome things about you? (Identity Domain #3)
Have you been told to look or act a certain way because of your gender? How did you feel afterwards? What can you say to someone who tells you to look or act a certain way? How can you respond if a friend is told to act or look a certain way? (Justice Domain #12)
RESOURCES AND ACTIVITIES
WOMEN IN HISTORY
Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman
Beautiful by Stacy McAnulty
Some Boys by Nelly Thomas