Speaking and Listening: Examining gender stereotypes

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SWBAT write an argumentative response with appropriate evidence to a prompt by collaboratively examining gender stereotypes.

Big Idea

Who learns better, male or female students? Let the students decide!

Evaluate male and female stereotypes

10 minutes

We have a short class period due to an assembly and today's lesson fits the short schedule perfectly.  I want students to get excited about our new unit which deals with literature that focuses on individuality.  Our first section of that unit works with literature that deals with gender. To get students thinking about gender issues, they will do some thinking, writing and speaking. First, I split the classroom into boys and girls.  I give each group two whiteboards and markers.  I tell the groups:

What is your definition of masculine and what is your definition of feminine? Discuss with your peers (SL.9-10.1).  Ask questions to make sure each member of your group is helping propel the conversation (SL.9-10.1c).  You have six minutes to brainstorm a list of masculine traits and a list of feminine traits.  

This photo demonstrates the female's feminine traits list and the boy's masculine traits. Students collaboratively making their lists is demonstrated in this video.  


White boards are a great classroom tool.  They can be pricey, so I head to my local Home Depot and buy a shower board.  I ask the people at Home Depot to cut the shower board into a 2x2 square.  They are a wonderful way for students to record their thinking.  

Students present their brainstormed lists

10 minutes

After students have brainstormed and written their bulleted lists, they present their board to the class.  I ask for a volunteer from each group to present their list to the class.  I ask students to present because it is a great opportunity for students to practice presenting their information clearly (SL.9-10.4).  In these videos, male students reporting and female students reporting, the students present their lists.  

What kind of pressure do you feel from society?

5 minutes

Now that students have thought about the stereotypes of masculinity and femininity, they will write a response to this prompt:

Think about the lists you created today.  Do you feel pressure from society,  your family, social media, etc., to live up to those ideas of masculinity or femininity?

I ask students to complete this short writing task so I can read and comment on their writing (W.9-10.10).  When I return this assignment, I will ask students to keep it so they can refer to it at the end of the unit.