Girls, Boys, and Media: A Gender and Digital Life Toolkit for Schools

A Gender and Digital Life Toolkit for Educators

Messages about gender roles come from all directions, but some of the most influential messages come from the media. For today’s kids, that means not just the TV shows, movies, and ads they see, but all of the messages and images they create and receive from their friends.

Use this toolkit to help students reflect on gender stereotypes: where they come from, how we learn them, and how they can shape the media that we consume and create.

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Lessons for Grades 3-5

Start by reading the Gender and Digital Life Teacher Backgrounder for elementary school teachers. Then dive in to the lessons below to begin exploring media messages about boys and girls with your upper elementary school students.

Picture Perfect

Students learn that photos can be digitally altered, and they discuss how this can impact the way people feel about their appearance.

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Selling Stereotypes

Students identify media messages about boys and girls in two online activity zones for kids.

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In June 2013, Common Sense released a white paper, Boys, Girls, and Media Messages in a Digital World, introducing policymakers, media industry leaders, schools, and parents to this important topic.

Additional Resources

Scenarios USA
Teen-produced films about social issues related to gender, race, class.

Peer Health Exchange
Brings college students into high schools to teach health and wellness.

Special Thanks

Content Expert Reviewers:
Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ed.D
Emily Bailin, Ed.D student
Elizabeth Englander, Ph.D
Alice Marwick, Ph.D

Teacher Reviewers:
Lea Sweitzer Pence
Gail Desler
Emily Koch
Bob Sprankle