RESOURCES

Intersection Allies by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi

PICTURE BOOK LESSON PLAN

GUIDED ANTI-BIAS/ANTI-RACIST READING | GRADES 3+

BOOK

Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All written by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi and illustrated by Ashley Seil Smith

LESSON PLAN CREATION

Dora Bennett

LESSON PLAN EDITING TEAM

Chloe Clark, Kara Roozekrans, Kayleigh Prentice, & Sandra Rios-Ayala

INTRODUCTION

This lesson is a guided reading experience designed to accompany Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Chois’s picture book Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All. Lesson content was written by Dora Bennett as part of her work in the Social Justice in K12 Education course at Portland State University and was designed to start or deepen anti-bias conversations in families and other learning communities.


THEMES

  • Friendship

  • Solidarity

  • Allyship

  • Diversity

  • Justice

  • Community

  • Intersectionality

LISTEN TO THE READ ALOUD

SUMMARY + PERSONAL NOTE

This book follows a group of 9 friends who each come from a different background. Intersection Allies focuses on the Justice, Diversity, and Action domains; it focuses on similar and different identities, being aware of the way people are treated differently by others for their identities, and how to create a fair community.


The book features the voice of each friend telling a portion of their individual story and how their friends support them. One example of how this group of friends support each other through allyship is a glimpse of them all attending a march holding signs that say: “Black Lives Matter,” “Trans Lives Matter,” “Love Wins,” “Say Her Name,” and “Ally.” Intersection Allies teaches its readers that anyone can be an ally, and what being an ally means through how it looks to be an ally. The authors also share the underlying messages of how those who are different than you may experience the world in different ways.


It wasn’t until entering college that I first heard the term “ally” and what that means. While I always pride myself on being kind and accepting towards each person, I continue to struggle with exactly what it means to be an ally. To be honest, I educate myself each day on how to be a better ally. This book focused on diversity, identity, and injustice, with an overall message of how to be an ally, and it would have been valuable in teaching me at a young age what an ally is. In my personal learning of allyship, I appreciate Intersection Allies, because it celebrates diversity and coming together to support one another while exposing young readers to the discrimination against other people’s identities and the importance of being an ally.


OBJECTIVES

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

The Teaching Tolerance Standards and Domains referenced in this lesson are for Grades K-2. This book, however, can be used with a wide range of ages. Domains featured in this lesson are as follows:

  • Diversity Standard, Domain #6: I like being around people who are like me and different from me, and I can be friendly to everyone.

  • Justice Standard, Domain #11: I know my friends have many identities, but they are always still just themselves.

  • Justice Standard, Domain #14: I know that life is easier for some people and harder for others and the reasons for that are not always fair.

  • Diversity Standard, Domain #10: I will work with my friends and family to make our school and community fair for everyone, and we will work hard and cooperate in order to achieve our goals.

  • Action Standard, Domain #20: I will join with classmates to make our classroom fair for everyone.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

BEFORE READING

  • Do you know what an ally is? Can you guess what it means? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #6

  • What does identity mean? What is one of your identities? What is an identity that is similar to and different from your own? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #6

AFTER READING

  • The friends in Intersection Allies talk about their different identities and how that makes them who they are. What identities make your friends who they are? JUSTICE DOMAIN #11

  • The friends in this book talk about how their identities change the lived experiences each person has and how many experience injustice because of the effects of systemic oppression. Can you give two examples from the book where a character experienced injustice? JUSTICE DOMAIN #14

  • This book says, “If we can make room for some we can make room for all. Friends can be Allies no matter how small!” How can you be an ally and make room for all? What can we do together to make room for everyone, not just some? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #10, ACTION DOMAIN #20

  • How can you be friendly to people who are like you and different from you? How are the friends in the book friendly and supportive of each other? DIVERSITY DOMAIN #6


ACTIVITIES & RESOURCES

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