Different is okay! Text Set by Rylan Laudan


Our country is currently at a turning point in history. Recently same-sex marriage and same-sex attraction is a hot button topic. This is something that is rarely, if ever, taught or talked about in the classroom. Family is something many of our students need help to better their understanding about and to know they're are different kinds and that people have different families. This text set will help students to learn more about families with same gender parents and to hopefully help them to develop a positive view point.

"And Tango Makes Three"

  • Title: "And Tango Makes Three"
  • Author: Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  • Illustrator: Henry Cole
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • Length: 32 pages
  • Genre: Non-Fiction/Picture Book
  • ISBN: 1481446959
  • Category: Illustrated

KSDE: RL.6.2 - Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinction from personal opinions or judgements.

Objective: Students will be able to draw out an overall theme or central idea from the text and provide a summary of their personal opinions/judgements.

Skill: Comprehension

Various Pages from "And Tango Makes Three"

Alignment: This is a great opener book to this text set. Students will have a smooth entry into this subject area. This book in particular will be very basic and easy to understand book for students. Drawing out a theme or central idea will be very easy and likely a very positive experience in reference to the LGBT Community.

Summary: This picture book can be used for nearly all ages. It gives a very family friendly look into same-sex families. Two penguins at the San Diego Zoo are caught doing the same mating practices as heterosexual pairs of penguins. These penguins go as far as making nest and trying to hatch a rock that resembles an egg. They eventually get an egg of their own and hatch "Tango" the baby penguin with two dads.

"The Sissy Duckling"

  • Title: "The Sissy Duckling"
  • Author: Harvey Fierstein
  • Illustrator: Henry Cole
  • Publisher: Simon Schuster
  • Length: 40 pages
  • Genre: Fiction/Picture Book
  • ISBN: 9781442498174
  • Category: Picture Book

KSDE: RL.6.5 - Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting or plot.

Objective: Students will evaluate which point the story takes a turn and a resolution arises.

Skill: Comprehension

Various Pages from "The Sissy Duckling"

Alignment: This story provides a very different view than the other stories but works VERY well with the overall theme. Young people who struggle with their sexuality often undergo troubles like this. Even if someone is not figuring out their sexuality they may be having this problem with a parent.

Summary: "The Sissy Duckling" is a motivational story about a duck who doesn't do traditional "boy" things. He receives a great deal of disapproval from his father and this hurts him a great deal. The main character's father runs into some trouble and his "unmanly" son takes care of him and his father grows to appreciate his son for his uniqueness.

"Worm Loves Worm"

  • Title: "Worm Loves Worm"
  • Author: J.J. Austrian
  • Illustrator: Mike Curato
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Length: 32 pages
  • Genre: Fiction/Picture Book
  • ISBN: 0062386336
  • Category: Picture Book

KSDE: RL.6.4 - Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

Objective: Students will be able to explain how specific words are used; breaking down the specific meaning and tone.

Skill: Vocabulary

Various Pages from "Worm Loves Worm"

Alignment: The terms used in this book are used in a very non traditional way. This is something that gives the reader a different view or insight into the text. This text will likely give the student a very different understanding of how people sometimes view basic gender roles.

Summary: A pair of worms are getting married! However their friends seem to be confused as to who will be the bride and who will be the groom. Ironically worms don't necessarily have specified genders which makes this story so crafty. The some of the friends of the couple getting married are struggling with the roles in this wedding. However the two worms decide they both will be the bride AND the groom. Eventually everyone comes around to the idea and they are married.

"Daddy's Roommate"

  • Title: "Daddy's Roommate"
  • Author: Michael Willhoite
  • Illustrator: Michael Willhoite
  • Publisher: Alyson Books
  • Length: 30 Pages
  • Genre: Fiction/Picture Book
  • ISBN: 1555831184
  • Category: Picture Book

KSDE: RL.6.6. - Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

Objective: Students will be able to explain how the narrator changes their point of view or diminishes any fears or misconceptions they might have about the situation at hand.

Skill: Comprehension

Various Pages from "Daddy's Roommate"

Alignment: By being able to evaluate the point of view of the narrator the student will be able to gain a better understanding of why the narrator thinks the way they do. This will allow the student to gain their own understanding and develop their own opinion about the story.

Summary: "Daddy's Roommate" is a story about a young boy whose parents get divorced. As the story progresses we meet the roommate of the young boy's father. Throughout the story it talks about all of the fun things the three of them do together. The young boy's mother eventually explains to the young boy about how his dad and his roommate, Frank, are gay. Throughout the story it talks about no matter who you love it's that you love them!

"Heather Has two Mommies"

  • Title: "Heather Has Two Mommies"
  • Author: Leslea Newman
  • Illustrator: Laura Cornell
  • Publisher: Alyson Books
  • Length: 36 Pages
  • Genre: Fiction/Picture Book
  • ISBN: 978140635559
  • Category: Picture Book

KSDE: RL.6.3 - Describe how a particular story's drama or plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Objective: Students will be able to explain how characters in this story change and adapt due to different situations that present themselves.

Skill: Comprehension

Various Pages from "Heather Has Two Mommies"

Alignment: This text in particular proves a different plot/resolution than the others. The main characters must find a solution to a problem that arises in the text. This is something that will open students' eyes to students who have the same situation as the main character in this story.

Summary: In this story, main character, Heather has two mommies that love each other. They seem to be a perfectly normal family and throughout the story nothing seems to be different besides the fact that Heather has two mommies. This is eventually brought to her attention when one of the kids in her school asks about her dad. The teacher handles the situation and all is well! The whole class learns how everyone's family is different and that's okay.

"Uncle what-is-it is coming to visit!!!"

  • Title: "Uncle What-Is-It is Coming To Visit!!!"
  • Author: Michael Willhoite
  • Illustrator: Michael Willhoite
  • Publisher: Alyson Books
  • Length: 32 Pages
  • Genre: Fiction/Picture Book
  • ISBN:
  • Category: Picture Book

KSDE: RL.6.3 - Describe how a particular story's drama or plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Objective: Students will be able to break down the series of events in the story and demonstrate how they effect the ending resolution.

Skill: Comprehension

Various pictures of what other children were saying what the kids uncle looked like.

Alignment: Having the ability to break down a text into various pieces will benefit the students in their ability to evaluate a text. With this particular theme they will be able to watch as the characters develop a fear for this subject but will see how they have overcome their fear and saw that they had nothing to fear at all.

Summary: In this story the two main characters learn that their gay uncle is coming to visit. Their friends begin telling them all the horrible stereotypes of gay men and they get super freaked out. When he comes to visit though they find out he's really not bad at all. They grow to really love their uncle even though he chooses to identify in a different way.

Same Love

  • Title: 'Same Love' by Ben Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert)
  • Length: Seven minutes, three seconds
  • Category: Alternative (video)

KSDE: SL.6.2 – Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.

Objective: Students will be able to interpret the information presented in this video and explain their personal opinion about the issue as it relates to their own lives.

Skill: Comprehension

Alignment: Being able to break down and interpret various kinds of text and media is a vital skill for students. This video in particular presents itself in a way that directly aligns with students' lives. They are constantly bombarded with issues and messages that can affect their way of thinking. This presents a rather controversial topic in a way that is positive which isn't always the way students see this topic.

Summary: This video is a musically presented work that comes from personal accounts of the artist. This is a story about an individuals journey of working through their own sexual identity and becoming a more well rounded person. This video talks a great deal about their relatives struggle and those in the world that are affected by this issue.

Ryland's story

  • Title: The Whittington Family: Ryland's Story
  • Length: Seven minutes, six seconds
  • Category: Alternative (video)

KSDE: SL.6.1d – Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.

Objective: Students will be able to reach their own opinions of this video and this topic.

Skill: Comprehension

Alignment: This video would be played at the end of the unit of instruction and students would have the opportunity to really express their feelings about the topic and talk about the things they have learned.

Summary: The Whittington Family is a truly amazing family that goes above and beyond for their child. The transition they made with Ryland isn't always easy and because of them there are so many other families and kids out there who are able to make a difference and do the same. This video simply tells one account of a family who did the right thing and helped their child to become the person they want to be.


You're probably wondering why I chose this subject. Well it's one that personally strikes me and is something I have to deal with on a daily basis. Lucky for me I have surrounded myself with supportive individuals who love and accept me for who I am however it's something that I think needs addressed in the classroom.


Created with images by anurajrv - "thumb up like sign" • chezbeate - "shoes rainbow lgbt" • Ronile - "gummibärchen fruit gums bear" • R..D - "marriage equality" • torbakhopper - "that day is coming when we're all gonna go over the berlin wall! : rainbow flag, castro, san francisco (2012)" • chezbeate - "rainbow shoes lgbt" • The Department for Culture, Media and Sport - "Confetti pattern" • Johgus - "gay fruit rainbow flag" • chezbeate - "rainbow different fabrics colourful" • Unsplash - "rainbow flag gay"

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