Inclusive Ideas for Children’s Classrooms

If you’re involved in teaching children and committed to helping them learn to accept all of God’s children from an early age, begin by taking these basic concepts and weaving them into your regular lessons.


Broaden the definition of what makes a family.

Any time families are mentioned, give a variety of examples (families headed by grandparents, families blending nationalities, families with adopted children or one parent, families with lesbian or gay parents, and so on).

The Kindergarten Sunday School curriculum suggests making Advent wreaths for children to take home. The picture of the family in the children’s leaflet shows a mom, a dad, and two children. Ask the class about the members of their families. Ask about acquaintances and provide more examples of different types of families


Examine your own gender expectations.

Find ways to push your own limits, then find gentle ways to incorporate this understanding into your classroom activities and conversations.

In the dress-up corner of the preschool classroom, David loves to put on a pink tutu and dance around saying, “I’m a girl!” The teacher feels a bit uncomfortable but gently encourages the child to dance. Later, in the session when music is playing, the teacher asks all the children to dance “like a ballerina.”


Always stop name-calling when it occurs.

Make it a habit to stand up for any children or groups that are picked on, whether they’re present or not.

As the children come into the third grade Vacation Church School classroom, the boys automatically sit on one side of the table and the girls on the other. When there are no more seats on the boys’ side, one boy laughs, “If Chris comes today, he’ll have to sit on the girl’s side because he’s so gay!” The other kids laugh. You should intervene by saying, “One of our rules is no name-calling. We’re respectful toward everyone. What John just said about Chris was unkind to him and disrespectful of gay people.”

Always answer children’s questions.

In the middle of a lesson about the creation story, an 11-year-old interrupts you to say, “So if God created Adam and Eve, how did gay people get here?” You reply, “I’m glad you asked that question. Actually, some Adams are gay and some Eves are lesbian! God created everyone—gay people, heterosexual people, people of different colors, artistic people, tall people, musical people, funny people….God is great at creating diversity.”

From All God’s Children – Teaching Children about Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity

Contributed by Melany Burrill

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