Gender Identity Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan
Title of Strategy: Gender Identity
Date/Time/Location: _____________________________________
ORL Staff: _________________________ Hall/Corridor/LLC:__________________________
Please answer the following questions regarding your proposed strategy. Please be as
specific as possible.
1. Why are you doing this strategy?
This activity is designed to get students thinking about the what is taught to us very early in
life about what is “normal” for each gender; gender roles and conformity. What messages
have they received about what it means to be a boy or a girl, or what symbols or images are
used to express femininity or masculinity? How does this affect people in everyday life?
How does that restrict free expression of self?
2. What competency does this achieve?
Effective Community Engagement
- Actively engage with a variety of people in one's community
- Understand how one's actions and decisions affect the
Academic Success
- Acknowledge that multiple perspectives exist on any given topic
- Examine multiple perspectives on any given topic
Intrapersonal Development
- Explore personal values and identity
- Identify how one's own beliefs and values influence one's perspective
Cultural Proficiency
- Analyze the relationship between one's cultural position and structures of power
and privilege
- Reflect on the meaning of
diversity and how it influences communities
3. Please provide an outline/description your strategy below.
Ask participants to count off by two. Have the “ones” stand in a circle in the middle of the room,
facing outward. Have the “twos” stand in a circle around the “ones,” facing inward. There should
be two concentric circles, and everyone should be facing one other person. If there are an odd
number of people, one facilitator should join the group so that the circles are even.
Read one of the following questions aloud to the group. Give them two minutes to discuss the
question in pairs. When the two minutes are up, ask the outer group to rotate one person to the
left. Then read a second question. Continue in this manner until you are out of time or until you
feel the group is warmed up. You will probably use between three to five questions. We have
suggested some questions to get the session started. You are welcome to choose from these or
create your own.
1) If your life were made into a movie, which celebrity(s), actor(s), musician(s) would you
want to play you?
2) If your gender was a car, what would it be? Make, model, color …?
3) If your gender had a motto, what would it be?
4) If you could be another biological sex for one day, what would you most like to do?
5) If your gender was a song or piece of music, what would it be? A country song? A rap?
Be specific!
6) What do you appreciate the most about your gender?
7) What do you find challenging or constricting about your gender?
8) Describe the earliest time you remember being aware of your gender.
9) Describe a time as a child when you were told that you should or should not do
something because of your gender.
10) Describe a time you remember someone else doing something that stretched the
boundaries of what was acceptable for them as a boy/man/girl/woman to do. What were
they doing and how did others respond?
11) Describe a time when your own understanding of what you should do as a boy/girl was in
conflict with someone else’s expectations? How did you feel?
Following the circle activity, debrief as a large group with the following discussion
1) What emotions did you feel as you identified gender memories or thoughts?
2) Did any themes emerge?
3) How do your answers to the earlier questions relate to what you discussed in the later
4) Where do your messages about gender come from?
5) Is there anything you do or do not do because of your gender?
6) Is there anything you do or do not do despite messages you have received about your
© Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, Second Edition, Routledge, 2007
4. How will you know if the participants have achieved the competency? (Select all
that apply)
 Survey (please list questions below)
 Pre-Test Post-test (please list questions below)
 Observed, obvious changed behavior
 Follow-up discussions (please list questions below)
 Other (describe below)