As part of the reading curriculum at my children’s school, they need to learn to instantly recognize all of the words on their “Sight Words” list. This is a list of the most common words they will encounter while they are reading in class.
This is the “Sight Words” list that came home with my 5-year-old son.
You’ll notice the list contains “his” and “he” but “hers” and “she”. At face value it’s easy to see the unfairness in only teaching the children masculine pronouns and not feminine ones, but this list represents a much deeper issue. Since the words on this list reflect the words that the kids will be reading the most often, you can conclude that stories about girls are under represented in the curriculum.
I know it’s not the teachers fault. They get this list and well as much of the required reading materials from the district, but again that represents a much deeper issue.
Update 8/28/14: It has been brought up to me, by members of the Pigtail Pals community, that this list may be just the first in a series and the feminine pronouns may be coming later on. I appreciate all the feed back I received and when I talk to the teacher I will definitely lead off with asking if there are more list coming home in the future. When I talk to her I will use the lack of “she” and “hers” as a jumping off point to inquire about how often they read about female characters in class.