February marks LGBT+ History Month, an opportunity for us to centralise the stories and lives of important LGBT+ figures and events throughout history and reflect on the importance of global LGBT+ equal rights.
Although many of us recognise the importance of LGBT+ History Month, we may find it challenging to incorporate it into our main teaching subjects. That’s where we come in – here are some of our ideas on how to incorporate LGBT+ History Month into various school subjects.
Teaching LGBT+ History
For maths or computing, you could focus a lesson on Alan Turing, pioneering English mathematician, computer scientist, philosopher and code-breaker. Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, and is widely considered to be the ‘father of modern computing’. Beyond’s Alan Turing Substitution Codebreaker is a great way of incorporating some LGBT+ history into your maths or computing lessons.
For English, there are many different LGBT+ writers and poets from throughout history who you could focus on. Why not teach about Sappho’s poetry and queer culture in Ancient Greece, or dedicate a lesson to the life and works of Oscar Wilde? You could even use the Literary Lives: Oscar Wilde Differentiated Reading Comprehension to do this.
In science, you may want to teach about Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space and the first known LGBT+ astronaut, using Beyond’s Sally Ride Poster and Fact File.
If you’re a history teacher, you’re in the lucky position of being able to focus on any and all LGBT+ history in your lessons. You could focus on specific events, such as the Stonewall Uprising or the repeal of Section 28, as well as displaying a more general overview of LGBT+ history in your classroom, using Beyond’s LGBT+ History Timeline.
In MFL, you could look at LGBT+ rights in Franco’s Spain and the gay counter-culture that erupted in some areas, or teach about Dora Richter, the first known person to undergo complete male-to-female gender reassignment surgery. You could even incorporate a lesson on French transgender painter Michel Marie Poulain in either a French or art lesson.
If you’re an art teacher, you could focus on LGBT+ artists, such as Keith Haring or David Hockney. For music, why not showcase LGBT+ musicians such as Freddie Mercury, Elton John and Janelle Monae?
Even pastorally or as a form tutor, there are various topics you could think about teaching for LGBT+ History Month. Beyond RSE has a whole category dedicated to LGBT+ History Month, where you can find a wealth of resources, including PowerPoints that can be used in assemblies or form time, displays, debate packs and smaller activities such as quizzes and word searches.
We sincerely hope that this blog post helped inspire you with ideas for incorporating LGBT+ history into your lessons. If you have any other ideas, why not reply with your suggestions?