Age Level:
Primary Grades, 5-8 years


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 questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your favorite activity? Describe it.

Part One:

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.

Part Two:

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.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do boys and girls sometimes do different activities?
  2. Where do we learn that boys and girl should do different activities?
  3. Is it okay for boys to do activities that are considered to be mainly for girls? Why/why not? Give specific reasons.
  4. Is it okay for girls to do activities that are considered to be mainly for boys? Why/why not? Give specific reasons.
  5. Have any of you decided to avoid a certain activity (chore, sport, subject area) because of your gender?
  6. What is gender bias? (Help the students define it.) Link the gender related interest in activities to gender bias.
  7. 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 so!

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