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. We learn those stereotypes from a very young age, therefore they have to be broken down even at the elementary level if we want to give students all the chances they need to succeed in school. Gender stereotypes become particularly rooted in older elementary students if they haven’t reflected on the subject before. To help them break down those preconceived ideas, concrete activities aiming at deconstructing gender stereotypes can be very helpful and spark interesting discussion with your group.
ACCM, an organization that provides information about and contact information for various health services in Montreal, has created a bank of free sexual health and education lesson plans adapted for elementary and high school teachers in Québec that you can access online. The lesson plan “Introducing Gender Identity” has been adapted for the needs of this project, but you can find the original version here.
As gender stereotypes are a big part of the sexuality education program in Québec, very interesting activities can be facilitated to break down gender stereotypes and meet the goals of the program at the same time. This particular activity looks at gender identities as well as transphobia and homophobia. It can help students understand the difference between sex and gender and foster more acceptance of two-spirits children and people.
Click on the links below to download the lesson plan and the handouts for students.