No Girls Allowed

Summary: It is 1977, and ten-year-old Tina could not be happier about her life.  Not because she just moved to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, but because she is finally old enough to make her dream come true: she can play on a real hockey team.  But when she tries to join the league, she learns there is no team for girls. 

Despite jeers from classmates and cruelty from some of the town’s adults, Tina is determined to play. She wants it more than anything.  With the help of her family, Tina takes her fight to the Human Right Commission. 

Based on an inspiring true story, No Girls Allowed is a journey of passion, determination, and sheer love of the game. 

Author: Natalie Corbett Sampson lives in Hatchet Lake, Nova Scotia with her husband, four school aged children and a menagerie of pets.  Her day job is a speech pathologist, where she loves helping children improve their ability to communicate with the world.  When she is not working, writing or sitting in a hockey rink Natalie loves reading, photography and drawing. 


WITS LEADS Connection: Look and Listen, Explore Points of View, Act, Did it Work? Helping and Seeking Help.  


 Lesson Plan



  1. Look at the cover of the book. What do you think this story will be about? 
  2. What does it mean to be a boy or a girl? Gender stereotyping can be very strong in school; encourage children to think about the fact that the way we look doesn’t define who we are. 
  3. What activities can boys and girls both do? What kind of jobs can they have?  Sometimes gender differences are hard to understand for school children.  Research suggests that young children believe you are not inevitably a boy or a girl just because you are born that way, and gender can change depending on your appearance and activities.  Stereotypes based on sex differences tend to decrease in elementary school but then sometimes intensify in adolescence. 



  1. Why did people think that Tina should not be allowed to play hockey? Why do you think Tina was treated differently by some people? 
  2. Why did some people laugh or stare at Tina? What are some other reasons why some people sometimes get stared at? (possible answers: people with visible differences, physical handicaps or mental health problems, etc.) 
  3. How did Tina’s family help her fight for her right to play hockey? How might other children in her school or community have helped too?   
  4. What can children do to help make their schools and communities more inclusive and supportive of gender diversity? 
  5. What can we do to help people who are teased or bullied by others? (possible answer: bystanders and friends can help stop teasing and bullying.) 



  • Create mixed-gender groups of about five children, and ask them to think about something they could do together to spread the message of kindness and make their school or community a better place (possible examples: plan a playground cleanup, put on a performance, create decorative posters, etc.) Help them figure out what each person can contribute and then execute the project. Remind students that working together helps us see beyond a person’s appearance to appreciate their unique talents. 


  • Create mixed-gender pairs of children who do not know each other well. Most friendships are same sex at this age. Have the partners share their talents with each other?Sports, cooking, dance, singing, caring for others, participation in afterschool activities, etc. Next, ask the children to present something about their partners that shows their unique talents. Students can draw a picture or create a collage from magazines. Display the pictures in a class book or on a bulletin board. 


  • Consider men and women in your community who are well-known because of their contributions. Mayor, firefighter, nurses, doctors, volunteers, etc. Note a variety of men and women. Take some pictures of them and add these local heroes to your bulletin board. 


  • Continue thinking about gender differences and how kind actions, not appearances, define who we are by comparing this story with  A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy, and My Life as a Diamond by Jenny Manzer. 


EXTENSIONSLearning about gender roles 


Suggested questions and activities:   

  1. Explain to students that you are going to talk about ways that people are expected to behave. Sometimes how you are expected to act can be different depending on whether you are in school, at home, at the playground, in the library, with your friends or other situations. 

Ask: “What are some ways that children are expected to behave in school?”  

(Possible answers may include: friendly, respectfully, being good listeners, following teacher’s directions, etc.) 

Then ask: “What are some ways that children are expected to behave outside with their friends?”  

(Possible answers may include: running around, using loud outside voices, playing nicely, following playground rules, etc.) 

Next ask: “Are there some ways that people expect children to behave based on their gender? Gender usually means whether you are a boy or a girl.”  

(Possible answers may include: boys are expected to run faster, like sports, play superhero; girls are expected to like pink, not run as fast and play princess, etc.) 

  • Ask students: “Does the job a person has, or what they wear mean the person is a boy or girl?” (No)  
  • “Do the activities someone likes to do for fun or what they wear mean they are a boy or a girl?” (No)  
  1. Post a chart with two headings: “What do you need to make a sandwich?” and “What do you need to play a game of hockey?”  

Ask students to call out a list of what things someone would need to do each of these activities. (Possible answers may be things like “hands to hold a hockey stick” under the “play hockey” list or “hands to make a sandwich” under the “make sandwich” list, “eyes to see,” “others to play with,” “directions or rules,” etc.  If student responses don’t include body parts, ask them, “What body parts do you need to have to do these activities?” Or “What does your body need to be able to do?” Alternatively, if they don’t mention equipment/tools, ask: “What equipment/tools do you need?” etc.  As students call out answers, record them under the appropriate heading.  

Once the students are satisfied that they have included all of their ideas, read each item and ask: “Raise your hand if you have…” or “Raise your hand if you can use…” or “Raise your hand if you can…” depending on the item (e.g. “Raise your hand if you have hands to throw” or “Raise your hand if you can use a knife to spread butter” or “Raise your hand if you can skate.” It is likely every child will raise their hands for many things listed in each activity 

Support students by acknowledging that all of them can do almost all these things not just one gender or another.  

Point out how exciting it is to know that boys and girls can do all these things and lots more.  

  1. Suggested activities: Ask the students the following question “How could you support others in trying new things and participating in activities that some people may sometimes say are only for boys or only for girls?”

Ask for volunteers to offer strategies. (Some responses might include: tell them that you think it’s great; tell them that they shouldn’t listen to what other people think; tell them that you will do it with them; tell them that there is no such thing as girl activities and boy activities, etc.)  

      4. Create mixed-gender groups of about five children and ask them to think about something                 they could do together to make their school or community a better place. Plan a playground             cleanup, put on a performance, create decorative posters, etc. Help them figure out what                 each person can contribute and then execute the project. Remind students that working                     together helps us see beyond a person’s appearance to appreciate their unique talents. 


This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.  

Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du Canada