Gay Families — a Talking Points lesson plan for English reading and speaking

Gay Families blog pic

Many families today consist of two dads. Or two mums.

How are these families considered in modern society today?

What is it like to be a child in a gay family like this?

This lesson plan examines the existence of gay families. And the experience of being a child in a gay family.

You can download the full lesson plan below!

Introduction

What is a gay family?

Are there gay families in your country?

What do you think of them?

My Two Dads

Read Lizzie’s story below

 

Most people have a mum and a dad. But me, I have two dads.

They are together, so that means they are both gay.

But we are still a family. A normal family. We do the same things that any other family does.

I was born via a surrogate pregnancy. So one of my dads gave his sperm to the hospital, and they found a surrogate mother that was prepared to become pregnant and carry me around for nine months.

Then I was born, and I lived with my two dads.

I grew up thinking having two dads was normal. When I saw other kids with a dad and a mum, I didn’t know what to think about it.

I asked my dads, and they said some families have a mum and dad, others have two mums and others have two dads. Some others only have one dad or one mum.

That’s how the world is.

I have long hair, and one of my dads is really good at plaiting. He plaited my hair one day before I went to school and one of my friends commented on it. She thought it looked really good.

She said her mum usually does her hair but cannot make plaits very well. So after school, she came back to mine and my dad plaited her hair too.

She thought it was great!

Some people at school say stupid things about my family. One girl said that I don’t have a real family because I don’t have a mum. She went on about families with two dads are not real families.

She went on and on about it and was really trying her best to upset me.

But in the end, I just told her I didn’t care what she thought of my family, as I didn’t think about her family at all.

I also said that she will never meet my family, so it doesn’t matter what she thinks about them.

She backed off after that.

My proudest moment was when we were doing a school play. One of my dads is a designer, and he volunteered to help with the design for the play.

There were these fantastic scenes of mountains and rivers and things that he designed.

When we performed the play, other kids’ parents came up to my dad and told him how fantastic the design looked.

He brushed it off and said it was nothing and that all the students did the majority of the work.

But I felt so proud.

Sometimes I have to talk about girls’ things with them. They are very understanding and try their best to help with everything they can.

But if I need to ask a woman, I just call my auntie — one of my dads’ sisters.

She has two daughters of her own and she can help with any delicate things.

But for the most part, my dads are great. They are always there for me and help me with everything.

Reading Comprehension Questions

Whose story is this?

What is special about Lizzie’s family?

How was Lizzie born? What method was used?

When Lizzie was very young, what did she think about having two dads?

What did she think of other families with a mum and a dad?

What did her two dads tell her about different families?

What can one of Lizzie’s dads do very well with her hair?

What did her friend think of her hair?

What did Lizzie’s father do for her friend?

Do some people say bad things about Lizzie’s family?

What did one student in particular say about Lizzie’s family?

How did Lizzie respond?

What happened during the school play?

How did one of her dads help out in the play?

What did he design?

What did the other parents think of the design for the play?

How did Lizzie’s dad respond?

What does Lizzie do if she needs to talk about special things about being a girl?

Can her dads help her in this situation?

Who can Lizzie turn to for help?

Essential Vocabulary

gay

surrogate pregnancy

sperm

surrogate mother

pregnant

plaiting

to comment on smth

to upset sb

to back off

proudest moment

school play

designer

to volunteer

design

fantastic scenes

to brush smth off

majority

proud

understanding

delicate

 

Exercise

Write down all the words and phrases in your vocabulary notebook. Look in your dictionary and find the meaning of each word. Write the definition next to each word.

Then make up your own sentences using each word or phrase.

For example:

Gay sexually or romantically attracted exclusively to people of one’s own sex or gender (used especially of a man).

One of our teachers is gay, he is very open about it.”

Discussion Questions

What do you think of Lizzie’s story?

Are there families in your country with two dads?

How many different kinds of families exist in the world today?

Make a list and call out all the kinds of families we can see in the world today.

What advantages do you think Lizzie has in having two dads?

What disadvantages do you think she might have?

Do you think Lizzie’s dads might encounter some difficulty raising a daughter between them?

What kind of difficulties could they have?

How could they overcome these issues?

Is the world becoming more accepting of gay families today?

Or is the world less accepting?

What about in your country?

The Pros and Cons of Having Two Dads

This is a whole class exercise.

 

Think about all the pros and cons of having two dads. The good things and the bad things, the advantages and disadvantages.

First, make a list of all the pros — the good things.

Choose one student to write all the pros on the board.

Second, make a list of all the cons — the things that are not so good or maybe a disadvantage.

Choose another student to write all the cons on the board.

Finally, go through all the cons and try to think of solutions for each one.

Debate

This is a debate activity.

 

Divide the class into two teams.

Choose one student to act as a chairperson. Their role is to ensure everyone has a turn at speaking and that there is order during the debate.

 

Team A

You have no problem with gay families — families that have two mothers or two fathers. This is perfectly natural and is now part of the modern world.

People must learn to accept all families and not condemn them in any way.

 

Team B

You strongly disagree with gay families. The only kind of acceptable family is a father, a mother and the children.

There are special roles for the mother and the father that gay families cannot provide.

There should be a return to traditional values and a traditional society.

 

Get into your teams and discuss what you intend to say during the debate.

When you are ready — begin the debate!

Writing

You are Lizzie in the story above.

 

While at school, some other students made fun of you for having two dads. They made some stupid remarks which made you feel terrible.

Write a letter to the headmaster explaining what happened.

Tell the headmaster how you feel about this incident and what you would like to see happen next.

When you have finished writing your letter, you can read it out loud in front of the class.

Ask your classmates and teacher for feedback.

Or you can just give the letter to your teacher and ask them directly to review your writing.

You can download the full lesson plan by clicking the link below!

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