What Happens If … Using Role Plays to Understand How Gender Stereotypes Affect Our Lives



Gender stereotypes often arise in social situations. Children face a great deal of pressure to be popular and to conform to their peer groups. Acting out realistic social situations in a safe, controlled classroom environment is a good way to prepare students for situations that might come up. It also helps children think about their own roles in both fighting and perpetuating gender stereotypes.

This lesson offers role plays and essential questions to guide students as they participate. Children have a chance to use creative, dramatic expression to consider not only the roots of gender stereotypes, but also their consequences and strategies for counteracting them.

Additional Resources

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educator's Network provides a great deal of information on gender- and sexuality-based teasing and bullying, as well as methods to combat these problems and create a safe space at your school

Gender Spectrum offers a comprehensive collection of resources to help schools, educators and families create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens.

The National Organization for Women addresses gender-based bullying among adults at "Gender Bullying Needs to Stop"; NOW also provides other tools for combatting sexism and transphobia in schools and communities.  




This activity addresses the following standards using the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.

CCSS SL.1, SL.4, SL.6, W.3, W.4, W.5