Brief description of the issue
A strong endorsement of gender stereotypes is associated with higher school dropout rates, for boys as well as for girls. Because we learn those stereotypes from the day we are born, in first grade already, some children have very strict views of what a girl or a boy can or cannot do or be. It is therefore important to put specific activities on this topic in place (like this one!) to deconstruct gender stereotypes with children and foster their school retention.
In a blog post about exploring gender stereotypes with children, Meredith, from Homegrown Friends, shared an activity she does with her young students where they would create a class book that combat gender stereotypes. Here is a quick summary of how to facilitate this activity with your group.
- Download the guide in the documents section below, adapt it to your needs if you’d like and print one copy for the class.
- Pages 11 and 12 are for each individual to create a page in the book. Make as many copies of pages 11 and 12 as you need for each child. The text states, “Some people say only boys/girls can _____ , but that is not true because ________ is a girl/boy, and she likes ______ .”
- Discuss how each child will pick something that someone told them they can’t wear or do because of their gender and then declare that can’t be true because she/he does it.
- Children that are done early can draw the images for the other pages.
- Once all the pages are illustrated, put the book together using a laminator and a book-binder machine or simply a hole puncher and book rings, or even a simple binder.
- Read the book to the class (every kid loves to hear his/her name read out loud!) and then place the book on your shelf. This book is important! You could even give each child the chance to bring the book home to share with his/her family for the night. If a child lives in more than one home, make sure the child gets to bring the book to all homes.