Teaching TSP is very happy that Girl w/Pen has joined TSP’s Community! Of course, we’re happy for many reasons, but one that we must highlight is the fantastic amount of teaching resources that can be found on the blog. Here’s an example, posted by Girl w/ Pen’s Deborah Siegel last month, which could easily be adapted to the classroom.
Start by giving your students this short, in-class quiz.
1. Children rarely have a firm sense of what “gender” they are until they are how old?
a) 1 year
b) 2 years
c) 3 years
2. This past holiday season, which country produced a toy catalog featuring a boy cradling a doll and a girl riding a race car?
a) the US
3. True or false: In a study of 120 pregnant women conducted shortly after women learned the sex of their baby, those who knew they were carrying females described their fetuses’ movements as gentle, quiet, and rolling while those carrying males described kicks, jabs, and a saga of earthquakes.
Then, to get the answers and learn much more, watch this TED Talk in class.
As the holidays draw near, it seems fitting that several of this week’s citings were about toy stores. One of the citings, found here, was about a Swedish company that is working to eliminate gendered toys. The other, found here, focused on class and toys.
Below is an expanded version of a related activity (that we posted about briefly in the past). This activity focuses on gender and toys, but you could also include class and toys (or ask the class to read the second citing listed above as part of the discussion after the activity).
Go to a local toy store or department store, and bring something to take notes. While you are there, take detailed notes about the following:
*Can you tell if there is a boys’ section and a girls’ section? How do you know? *If there are boys’ and girls’ sections, how do they differ? (Think about the number of toys, colors of toys, types of toys, etc.) *If there are boys’ and girls’ sections, how are they similar? *Do the toys seem to encourage different types of values? *Do the toys seem to encourage different roles for boys and girls? *What other differences or similarities do you see?
Students could bring their notes to class for group discussion and/or write a paper based on their findings. If they write a paper, be sure to ask them to give detailed descriptions as well as link their findings to material covered in class (and turn their notes in with the paper).