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Where do our gender norms and stereotypes come from? How does language perpetuate stereotypes? How have gender norms changed over time? This mini-unit gets students to think critically about gender and the many ways that norms and stereotypes are shaped by society.
This resource contains the following activities:
1) Stand Up (15-30 minutes)
This activity allows students to begin thinking critically about how their gender has shaped their lives, and to consider how people of other genders experience the world.
The teacher will read a series of prompts to the class.
Students will stand up and then sit down in response to each statement
2) Addressing Gender Norms (30-60 minutes)
Students work in pairs or groups to fill out graphic organizers and consider gender norms and expectations faced by both boys and girls.
Students can reflect upon how gender norms can have an effect on a person’s life both positively or negatively.
Groups report their findings
Teacher may record students findings on the board
3) Gender Identity (20-30 minutes)
Students are presented with information to consider the difference between biological sex and gender.
Students learn what it means to be gender non-conforming
Students work in pairs or groups to consider and identify challenges faced by those who identify as gender nonconforming.
Students present their thoughts to the class.
4) Discussion: where do our gender norms come from? (20-30 minutes)
Students form discussion pairs/ groups to consider where are gender norms come from, and how they are reinforced by society.
Groups share their ideas with the class
Teacher may record group findings on the board
5) Media and language analysis (45-60 minutes)
Teacher will show two easily accessible YouTube clips to the class
- Always#LikeAGirl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxd_DKsITXoand
- Mulan: I’ll Make a Man out of You
Students will complete a graphic organizer to reflect upon how the media and the language we use everyday contributes to the creation and perpetuation of gender norm and stereotypes.
Students consider other examples from media or language that reinforce gender norms.
6) Interview: How do gender norms change over time? (extension project)
Students complete the graphic organizer to interview an elder about changing gender norms.
Students elaborate upon and draw conclusions form their findings.
7) Critical thinking exercise (extension activity)
Students use what they have learned to answer a critical thinking extension question in the form of a short opinion essay.