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Kids are dealing with a world where toys, clothing and even books are being ‘sorted’ for them into boys and girls sections. Jess will ask the kids to sort a selection of items into three piles: boys, girls and both.
If the children have decided to allocate it to a particular gender, Jess will help them explore what was behind that decision. Where did the idea that this item was gendered come from? Can we ‘de-gender’ this item? Can we make the both pile bigger? Can everything go in the both pile?
Jess will help kids understand that items don’t have a gender, and that anyone can wear, play with or read anything they like!
She will also read the kids her book Introducing Teddy, which is all about being yourself and being a good friend. It also gently introduces kids to the concept of gender identity.
The session can also include a craft activity (suitable for younger primary children) where kids decorate bows and wear it as a hair bow or a bow tie, or both! Discussion about how boys and girls can wear it whichever way they like, as long as it makes them happy!
This session is also available in a longer format (most suitable for older primary children) where hobbies and jobs are sorted into girl/boy/both columns, discussed, and hopefully de-gendered.
In 2015, Jess Walton wrote a picture book to explain gender identity to her young son, and to ensure that the diversity in his family was represented in the books on his shelf. A year later Jess had teamed up with a talented illustrator, published a Kickstarted book, worked with an agent and editor from […]
As a queer disabled author with a transgender parent, Jess Walton is no stranger to diversity. Is the diversity we see in the world represented in the books we read? If not, why not? Jess will read her book Introducing Teddy, a story about a teddy bear who knows in her heart that she is […]
In this session Jess will get kids thinking about what it means to be yourself and be a good friend, the two main concepts explored in her picture book Introducing Teddy. Jess will help the kids understand what it means for them to be themselves (what/who makes them feel happy and comfortable? What is special […]