American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

LGBTQ+ Curriculum Project for NYC Department of Education Completed

Published September 18, 2020

Over the past six months, ASHP/CML worked with New York City Department of Education on a project to develop resources and lesson plans for their Hidden Voices program. Our work focused on incorporating significant LGBTQ+ people and events into the existing curriculum framework for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. The project was initiated to help NYC students learn about and honor the innumerable people, often “hidden” from the traditional historical record, who have shaped and continue to shape our history and identity.

ASHP collaborated with teams of scholars and educators to plan, research, develop, and edit 20 lesson “profiles” on LGBTQ+ history and culture. Profiles include the 19th century Zuni Two-Sprit person We’Wha, blues performer Ma Rainey, and transgender civil rights activist Sylvia Rivera, among many others. Lessons include detailed classroom procedures, notes to teachers on best practices, worksheets and activities, and numerous primary and secondary materials relevant to each topic. 

The lessons will serve as examples to accompany a revised Hidden Voices resource guide. The guide is aligned to the New York City’s “Passport to Social Studies” curriculum, helping teachers facilitate and explore inclusive learning experiences that validate the diverse perspectives and contributions of underrepresented individuals and groups. The project is in the final publishing stage and will be freely available to educators and the greater public online in the near future.

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