Female Action Heroes


Demonstrate an awareness of how the media perpetuate gender stereotypes ;
Understand how the students themselves respond to, or are influenced by, these stereotypes ;
Show an appreciation of how gender representation in children’s programming has changed over the past few decades ;
Demonstrate an understanding of the action-hero genre, and why women are less likely to assume prominent roles in it.
Female Action Heroes

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. They can also have a negative impact on teenagers’ self-esteem, especially for those who don’t or can’t conform to those stereotypes. Gender stereotypes are widely shared through the media and contribute to teenagers’ understanding of the roles expected from men and women in society. It is therefore important to put specific activities on this topic in place to question gender stereotypes with students.

This lesson plan named Female Action Heroes is promoted by MediaSmarts, “a Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization for digital and media literacy. Our vision is that children and youth have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens.”

According to the website’s description, this lesson will allow students to “identify stereotypical images of girls and women as represented by female action heroes”.

Teachers can also find here how this activity helps developing cross-curricular competencies as well as subject-specific competencies.

You can download the activity directly on MediaSmarts’ website or in the “Documents” section below.


Female Action Heroes - Lesson Plan
File size: 293 KB (application/pdf)