Lesson Plans – Gender

Beyond Pink and Blue: The Impact of Gender Stereotypes
Source: UN Association Wales
A unit that explores situations where gender stereotyping can do mental and physical damage. Developed in Wales but easily adaptable.
Grade Level: high school
Subject Area: social studies, all-school activity


Empowering Women: Empowering Children
Source: UNICEF
An introduction to gender equality using video, visual aids, and interactive lessons.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies


End the Sexualization of Girls and Young Women in Mainstream Media
Source: Advocates for Human Rights
A toolkit with lesson that analyzes the impact of media on the rights of girls and young women from an international human rights framework, specifically the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Girls have the right to safe, self-directed, and healthy lives; free of coercion and sexual exploitation.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, language arts


Exposing Gender Stereotypes
Source: Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy, 2012
Addresses gender stereotypes in personal perception and media representations.
Grade Level: middle school
Subject Area: social studies, all-school activity


Female Identity and Gender Expectations
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Examines how gender stereotypes affect sense of identity. Lesson include “Girls’ Attitudes About STEM Careers: Similarities and Differences Among Race/Ethnic Groups,” “Gender and Jobs—Women in the Workforce,” “The Importance of Female Voices,” “Legislating Equal Access.”
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, all-school activity


Gender Doesn’t Limit You
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Each lesson in this six-lesson unit addresses a different form of gender bullying: peer exclusion, role exclusion, teasing about gendered activities, biased judgments, gendered beliefs, highlighting gender.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies, all-school activity


Gender Equality
Source: UNICEF
Units with lesson plans, stories, and video that helps raise student awareness of the importance of gender equality.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: social studies


Life Planning Education: A Youth Development Program
Source: Advocates for Youth
Lesson plans on topics such as Gender Advantages and Disadvantages, Jobs for Women and Men, Media Messages and Stereotypes.
Grade Level: elementary – high school
Subject Area: social studies


Think outside the Box
K – 2 or  3-5
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Explores gender identity and stereotypes and their harmful effects.
Grade Level: K – 5
Subject Area: social studies, all-school activity


Toys and Gender
Source: Anti-Defamation League
Examines how toys are influenced by gender stereotypes and how children and their families are impacted by those messages.
Grade Level: lower elementary
Subject Area: social studies


Using Photographs to Teach Social Justice: Exposing Gender Bias
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Examines stereotypes of women from photographs.
Grade Level: middle – high school
Subject Area: gender studies, social studies


Watch It: Examining and Critiquing Gender Stereotypes in the Media
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Helps students analyze and critique messages about gender that they get from various media. Students in younger grades will focus on toys and toy advertisements, challenging themselves to think past what advertisements tell them about their gender identity. Older students will begin to consider the notion that gender is, at least to some degree, socially constructed. They will also critique media that constructs gender in limiting and sometimes debilitating ways.
Grade Level: Pre-K to lower elementary
Subject Area: social studies, language arts


When I Grow Up I Want to Be a ?: Moving beyond Gender Barriers in Our Lives
Source: Anti-defamation League, 2008
Explores gender roles, especially in the workplace
Grade Level: elementary
Subject Area: social studies


Write Right: Using Creative Writing to Counter Gender Stereotypes in Literature
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Allows children to look at one or more picture books that counter gender stereotypes. After discussion of the book, children will engage in a creative writing activity geared to fostering individual identity and resisting social definitions of what and how a boy or girl “should” be.
Grade Level: Pre-K to lower elementary
Subject Area: social studies, language arts