TV Show

Degrassi on Accepting Sexual Orientation

This lesson (Accepting of Sexual Orientation Lesson Plan) is similar to the on Degrassi on Coming Out.  The main difference is that we see the personal acceptance that has to happen with yourself.  Another difference is how Riley ~ unlike Marco ~ has to deal with acceptance of his sexual orientation while handling being in a traditional position of masculinity in terms of being on the football team.

The clips for this lesson can be found at this YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/user/DTNGRiley/videos.

These clips cover a wide range of subject matter in terms of what you may want, but depending on what exactly you are looking for, but all of the clips provide a wide selection of issues that you may want to cover.  We see Riley going from kissing Peter and not willing to accept his sexual orientation to using steroids to become stronger guy to anger issues to finally accepting to his sexual orientation and coming out too his mother.

The best thing to do with this lesson is to dedicate a week’s worth of class to it if you’re a high school teacher or to assign the viewing of these videos on your student’s own.  This way, you can have the time to view the videos and have time to discuss theme.

Some discussion questions can include:

  • Why do you think Riley had a hard time accepting his sexual orientation?
  • Throughout a good portion of the arch of Riley’s acceptance of his sexual orientation, Peter seems to be a key figure in this.  How does Peter grow himself?
  • What do you think would be the hardest thing about coming to terms about your sexual orientation?
  • How do you think you would handle being in Riley’s shoes?  Would you act the same way?

These discussion questions could possibly double as possible essay questions for both a paper or a test.

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Degrassi on Coming Out

Canada’s TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation touches on the coming out process for the LGBT community  faces.  They explored this with the character Marco.  For this lesson (TV On Coming Out Lesson Plan PDF), focuses on this process that Marco went through.

These are the videos that I feel showcase this process for Marco from the episodes “Pride: Part 1” and “Pride: Part 2” of Degrassi:

Show the first 30 seconds of this video

Show this whole video:

What would be the best thing to do for this lesson is that once you watch these clips (or if you want, you can buy the episode from iTunes to watch the view the full episode) is to discuss the homophobic behavior that Marco faces once he comes out.

Some discussion ideas can be as follows:

  • How do you think if you where in Marco’s position?
  • Do you think your friends would act like Jimmy, Spinner, or a mixture of the two?
  • How would you feel about the use of homophobic language that is used in these clips?

This lesson and video clips are best suited for tenth graders and higher.  I believe that you could possibly argue for a ninth grade class to view this; but I believe that this would depend on the school if you pushed hard enough.

I believe that this would lesson would be adaptable only to the degree of viewing the full episode.  Otherwise, the only other adaptation would be having the students write up a review of the clips.

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