Lesson Plan

What's in a Word? - Lesson

Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 5 to 7

Author: MediaSmarts


In this lesson, students become sensitized to the ways in which the use of language in the media can imply inequality between men and women. The class begins with the teacher presenting a mock news story in which students must identify the gender-specific language. Using the CBC’s gender guidelines as a basis, students will discuss how gender-specific language can create negative gender stereotypes. As a homework assignment, students will complete a word search where they have to replace gender specific terms with gender neutral terms.


Students will:

  • understand the way the media’s use of language can marginalize women.
  • reflect on their own use of gender-specific language.
  • use gender neutral terms when writing and speaking.

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.

Lesson Kit: