Female Action Heroes - Lesson
Level: Grades 6 to 8
This lesson was adapted from “Gender Issues in Sailor Moon” by Alice Te of the Toronto Board of Education.
In this lesson, students identify stereotypical images of girls and women as represented by female action heroes. After viewing an excerpt from children’s television programs that feature male or female action heroes, students deconstruct the traits of the main characters and compare the female action heroes to their male counterparts. Students discuss the purpose of television stereotypes, and whether these gender stereotypes influence the attitudes or behaviour of boys or girls. In small groups, students then assume the role of television producers who wish to create a television series about male or female superhero free of gender and other stereotypes.
Students will demonstrate:
- an awareness of how the media perpetuate gender stereotypes
- an awareness of how the students themselves respond to, or are influenced by, these stereotypes
- an appreciation of how gender representation in children’s programming has changed over the past few decades
- an understanding of the action-hero genre, and why women are less likely to assume prominent roles in it
This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) is available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.