Objective: To recognize gender stereotypes.
Materials: Blackboard or other large recording area
Activity: Divide students into groups of two. Each student
will interview his or her partner. Instruct them to ask the following
- What is your name?
- What is your favorite activity? Describe it.
Ask each pair of students to come forward and introduce one another
to the class. As the students present, keep a record of the favorite
activities for the girls and for the boys. When the interviews are
complete, transfer these two lists to the board in separate columns,
but do not add headings yet.
Ask the students if they can see any differences between the activities
in two lists. If so, discuss them. Then tell them that one list
shows the boys' favorite activities and one shows the girls' favorite
activities. Ask the class to discuss why they think the lists are
not the same. Ask the class to identify the activities in each column
that are usually boys' activities or are usually girls' activities.
- Why do boys and girls sometimes do different activities?
- Where do we learn that boys and girl should do different activities?
- Is it okay for boys to do activities that are considered to
be mainly for girls? Why/why not? Give specific reasons.
- Is it okay for girls to do activities that are considered to
be mainly for boys? Why/why not? Give specific reasons.
- Have any of you decided to avoid a certain activity (chore,
sport, subject area) because of your gender?
- What is gender bias? (Help the students define it.) Link the
gender related interest in activities to gender bias.
- Why is it important and useful to try new activities, to expand
what you do?
Closure: To wrap up the discussion, ask each student to
name one activity they don't currently do, but would have probably
tried and enjoyed if they had been born the opposite gender. Is
it an activity they would like to try now? Encourage them to do