I am now contributing to the blog and tip jar in the USAToday Teacher’s Lounge. Here is my first post.
BERT & ERNIE SOCIAL JUSTICE
Entertainment reporter Ann Oldenberg opens the door to a lesson on Social Justice with her August 11, 2011 article Marriage for ‘Sesame Street’ pals Bert and Ernie?, in the USAT Life. In the article Oldenberg asks if the two lifelong friends will marry now that gay marriage is legal in New York. Apparently there are a group of advocates circulating a petition for this to happen. The article goes on to share a quote from Sesame Workshop that clearly indicates that Bert and Ernie are only friends and that the puppets are identified as male characters.
Questions surrounding Bert and Ernie serve as a perfect jumping off point for a conversation about identity. Pairing the article above with the TeachingTolerance.org unit Using Photographs to Teach Social Justice: Exploring Identity will give students a relevant frame of reference for a meaninful conversation.