Hello, I am a student at Parsons The New School for Design in NYC. For class, our team is brainstorming on a lesson plan that will help teachers and parents casually and effectively discuss gender with their students or children. In these lesson plans, the teacher acts as moderator instead of lecturer. The tone is lighthearted and the approach is optimistic, allowing students the freedom to explore their own thoughts and feelings on the subject matter without feeling judged or ashamed about their personal likes, dislikes, and consumption. A few ideas we had were: Activity 1: Talk about toys ENTIRE CLASS ** 10 MINUTES • Ask the class what their favorite toys are and why. If there is time, arrange an anonymous poll the previous day or lesson: ask each child to write down their favorite toy and why they like it on a piece of paper and put it in a box. • What common ground is there between the genders in their answers? Do answers tally with what they said privately? • Choose a selection of toys: a doll, a car, a pink toy, a board game, loom bands or another topical toy • Show to the class and ask them ‘Who is this toy for?’ • Wait to see if the children respond with ideas of gender • If so, ask why they think it’s a girl toy or a boy toy Activity 2: Watch film clip on toy stereotypes ENTIRE CLASS ** 20 MINUTES • Watch a news report on toys, children and/or stereotypes • Read some of the comments underneath the film Ask the class: • What did you think of the film? Do you agree that shops shouldn’t have signs? Why or why not? • Does labelling toys ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ put you off playing with them? • Write your own comment for the news website. What would you like to say? What do you think about these ideas? We would love to get some professional feedback! Thank you very much!!