Gender Identity & Gender Roles

Pink is for boys

Author(s): Robb Pearlman & Eda Kaban


Social Justice focus: Societal Norms, Equality and Binary

Synopsis: This book explains in simple form how all colours can be liked by girls and boys, as well as the items that go with them, such as a brown teddy bear, green grass, blue sport uniforms and yellow crowns. It is an empowering picture book that demonstrates that any color can be like by anyone, irrespective of the gender.

Lesson Plan: Emma MacDonald

Primary/Junior/Intermediate Lesson Plan (Abbreviated Template)

Unit/Topic: Societal Norms using media literacy and visual arts

Grade: 5

Lesson: What is the focus of this lesson in relation to the unit?

This lesson will focus on social justice through the use of a picture book. Specifically, societal norms and equality using media literacy, writing and visual arts will be addressed to junior students.

Curriculum Areas: What are possible connections to other curricular areas?

Visual arts will be used as a way for students to display their findings:

D1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19-22) to produce a variety of two and three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings;

D1.1 create two- and three-dimensional art works that express feelings and ideas inspired by their own and others’ points of view

Curriculum Expectations: What Overall and Specific Expectations will be addressed?

Media Literacy:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts

1.1 Identify the purpose and audience for a variety of media texts

1.2 Use overt and implied messages to draw inferences and construct meaning in media texts

1.3 Express opinions about ideas, issues, and/or experiences presented in media texts, and give evidence from the texts to support their opinions


2. Draft and revise their writing, using a variety of informational, literary, and graphic forms and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience;

2.2 – Establish an appropriate voice in their writing, with a focus on modifying language and tone to suit different circumstances or audiences

2.5 – Identify their point of view and other possible points of view, and determine, when appropriate, if their own view is balanced and supported by evidence

Learning Goal(s): What are students expected to know, do and understand? We are learning to….

We are learning to identify how our world separates things for boys and girls differently

We are learning to read advertisements for reasons of how companies can improve their separation of toys between genders

We are learning to write with the purpose of finding a solution to advertising for one gender

We are learning to present our ideas and corrections by creating a picture

Success Criteria: How will students know they have met the learning goal? I can….

I can give examples of places I have seen objects separated into separate boys and girls sections

I can use my advertisement to find problems with the advertisement and come up with better ways to sell the toys

I can create a picture to show how the add should be presented

I can write to the company to explain my point of view on their advertisement


How will I meet the needs of my students? Have I addressed any IEPs?

Allowing opportunities for learning and presenting their learning using written words, visual using collages or drawn pictures of some type and giving visual representations of the main message of gender norms and segregation using images of advertisements. Students can have more time if needed to complete activities as well as use technology to assist in the completion of work.

Minds-on: How will I connect to prior and future learning? How will I engage students and set the context for learning?

Minutes: 10 minutes

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

We will begin with a think pair share where students will discuss in their groups a question posed by the teacher: “Can you think of examples of when there were outline things for “boys” and “girls” separately?”. Once the students have discussed it in their groups the teacher will direct a large group discussion. Some ideas that may come up:

  • Clothing in stores
  • Toys in toy store and colours used (pink and blue)
  • Sports they can play and the rules used
  • The teacher will then read the book: Pink is for boys aloud to the class

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment?

Assessment for learning – Anecdotal record – looking for students to relate this concept to real world examples and situations they have come across in real life as well as collaboration as the LS/WH.

Action: How will I introduce new learning / reinforce prior learning / practice learning / scaffold learning?

Minutes: 30 minutes

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

After reading the book as a read aloud, discuss what book is telling us in terms of social norms and gender roles/equality between genders (girls and boys can like all colours and partake in all activities and should be accepted and not made fun of for it).

  • Each student/ pair of students if it is a large class who works well with collaboration, will choose an advertisement from the printed ones that the teacher has
  • They will discuss with their partner what is wrong with the advertisement and what it is telling the viewers
  • Students will then brainstorm how the advertisement can be improved using a type of graphic organize to help organize their thoughts independently using a graphic organizer of their choice
  • They will then independently write a letter to the company explaining what they could do better to not fall to societal norms and improve their advertisement

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment?

AFL – Anecdotal notes about ideas that come up regarding how the advertisements are specific to boys vs. girls and why this should change/how it can change.

AOL – written letter to assess using check rubric for writing with a purpose using voice and point of view to get their message across accurately with social justice topics addressed and how adds were specific to boys or girls.

Consolidation: How will I reflect on the learning goal? How will I have students reflect on the learning goal?

Minutes: 20 minutes

Task: What will I be doing? What will students be doing?

  • Students will create their own advertisement that shows equity and is not aligned with societal norms/ gender roles using hand drawing, cut outs from magazines, online collage, or another digital source to create a 2-D visual representation of the corrected advertisement
  • Students will show their learning by creating their own advertisement of the same product but without segregating by gender and falling victim to gender roles and social norms, as explained in their written assignment

Assessment: What is the Nature and Purpose of assessment?

AOL – Visual product to show the solution of how the company can improve their advertisement to reach all genders rather than just including one gender

MATERIALS: What resources and materials do I need? Where can I find them? In a perfect world what other resources might I need?

  • Pink is for boys book, advertisement’s printed off, magazines for collage, markers, paper, pencil crayons

REFLECTION: Questions to determine the success of your lesson


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Social Justice Picture Books Copyright © 2019 by Ruth McQuirter, editor and Gurbinder Kaur, contributing editor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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