Whether you’ve arrived here as part of the larger Gender Representation Unit, or while searching for a strong short story to use with your students, X: A Fabulous Child’s Story by Lois Gould is perfect for your classroom. A copy of the story can be purchased online or downloaded from The Gender Centre (currently the fourth link from the top at the time of posting).
What’s the Story About?
This is the story of a baby named X. The game is raised Gender Neutral; the parents refuse to tell anyone the sex of the child. While this causes problems for X when X goes to school, other children soon see the benefit in being more like X. As, is often the case, it is the parents who worry.
While this story is a work of fiction, it connects to many real-life examples, some of which were inspired by this piece.
A Focus on Literacy Skills
Students will be asked to make and support inferences about the parents in the story, as well as the other community members. They will be challenged to use the information presented to them in the text, as well as their own person knowledge, to make a strong educated guess about motivation.
Students will identify question types, focusing on both Literal and Evaluative. They will then have to write a response in P.E.E. format, explaining if they would want to raise a baby X of their own.
Students are offered limited room to summarize a large amount of information. This will help demonstrate the need to only add specific details while avoiding all unnecessary information.
Students are asked to recreate a part of the story, paying attention to how all five senses are activated during that moment. Students will create a stronger understanding of the characters when considering what taste they might be experiencing, and what sounds would stand out to them.
Students will be asked to make Text to Text, Text to World, and Text to Self-connections with the story. By doing so, they will work to create meaning, and develop a strong foundation for future discussions.