Fears and Phobias

As the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (abbreviated IHADOT or IDAHAT), approaches, I encourage educators to take some time to develop some understandings with their students.

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is acknowledged on May 17.

The following link provides a lesson which encourages students to differentiate between the definitions of fears and phobias.

Students are invited to:

  • Define the words phobia and fear (establish the difference between a fear and a phobia) and differentiate between the two
  • Select a specific phobia and identify what it is the irrational fear of
  • Research the reactions (both physical and emotional) of a person experiencing exposure to their phobia
  • Draw a caricature of a person reacting to the item they are phobic too. Drawings should include labelling of physical reactions, and the definition of the phobia.
  • Outline a “treatment plan” for how to overcome the phobia

The lesson has tended to be an engaging and powerful one in intermediate classrooms.  Every time I’ve facilitated this lesson, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how fascinating students find phobias, and how eager they are to explore the myriad of phobias that have been identified.


A collaborative PowerPoint presentation put together by a group of grade 6/7 s that summarizes their suggested plans to minimize the presence of Homophobia and Transphobia:

No To Homophobia & Transphobia – Phobia Inquiry

A template to encourage reflection on the process of exploring phobias and the understandings developed.

Phobias Reflection

An example of a completed reflection from the BC Ministry of Education website.

Core Competencies Illustration – Phobias vs. Fears


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