Author:
Patricia Denton
Subject:
Health, Medicine and Nursing, Information Science, Graphic Arts, Marketing, Film and Music Production, Graphic Design, English Language Arts, Women's Studies
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Middle School
Grade:
6, 7, 8
Tags:
  • Advertisements
  • Advertising
  • Gender
  • Gender Dysphoria
  • Media
  • Media Literacy
  • Media and Information Literacy
  • Stereotype
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    Gender and Advertising

    Overview

    Using their new skills in deconstructing advertisements, students will look at advertisements through the lens of gender.  Students will be encouraged to critically analyze the cultural stereotypes for men and women. Students will deconstruct advertisements based on gender representation.

    Rationale: Students will begin to see how believing in stereotypes can lead towards a negative self image for men and women.  

    This is Part 4 of a 5 part Unit: Media Manipulation: What Are They Really Saying?

    Day 1

    • Explain to the class what a stereotype is and emphasize that these are beliefs that are part of our society's belief system and not necessarily our own belief system.  You can recognize a stereotype without believing it.

     

    • Ask students to brainstorm stereotypes we have for men and women.  Write their list on the board or on butcher paper. Lead the class in a discussion of the following questions:

      • What are our expectations for men/women

      • How are they encouraged to respond?

      • What professions are typically male/female?

      • What are girls/boys expected to like? 

      • Where did we learn these gender roles?

     

    • How are these Stereotypes reinforced?

      • As teens, is it shameful when someone likes something that is not culturally accepted for their gender? What kind of slurs are used? How are people who do not conform to the gender norms treated by their peers?

      • What names are women called if they step out of the stereotype box?

      • What names are men called if they don’t fit in the box?

      • Has anyone witnessed or experienced this?

      • How do you think these people feel?

     

     

    • Discuss the video.  Are the images we see in magazine real?  How can this be harmful? Is this harmful for just girls/ how does this affect boys as well?

     

     

    • Celebrity Photoshop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NsHgAmtk00

      • Why would people who are already beautiful by our societies standards need photoshop?

      • Final Thought: From mediasmarts.ca “Failing to accept ourselves for who we are can cause enormous problems.  Wanting to be muscle bound or slim can get us into trouble if our body type doesn’t conform to these images. But stereotypes are more subtle than muscles and body weight.  As we grow up, our culture influences us through these images-- usually without us realizing it.”

    • Brainstorm stereotypes we have for men and women.  Write your list down. Consider the following questions:

      • What are our expectations for men/women

      • How are they encouraged to respond?

      • What professions are typically male/female?

      • What are girls/boys expected to like? 

      • Where did we learn these gender roles?

    • How are these Stereotypes reinforced?

      • As teens, is it shameful when someone likes something that is not culturally accepted for their gender? What kind of slurs are used? How are people who do not conform to the gender norms treated by their peers?

      • What names are women called if they step out of the stereotype box?

      • What names are men called if they don’t fit in the box?

      • Has anyone witnessed or experienced this?

      • How do you think these people feel?

    • Watch the video “Evolution” by Dove.  This shows the extreme process of photoshopping that occurs for all advertisements. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

    • Discuss the video.  Are the images we see in magazine real?  How can this be harmful? Is this harmful for just girls/ how does this affect boys as well?

    • Watch the Mini-Documentary “The Photoshop Effect” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP31r70_QNM

      • Why do we photoshop?

      • How could this be harmful?

    • Celebrity Photoshop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NsHgAmtk00

      • Why would people who are already beautiful by our societies standards need photoshop?

      • Final Thought: From mediasmarts.ca “Failing to accept ourselves for who we are can cause enormous problems.  Wanting to be muscle bound or slim can get us into trouble if our body type doesn’t conform to these images. But stereotypes are more subtle than muscles and body weight.  As we grow up, our culture influences us through these images-- usually without us realizing it.”

    Day 2

    • Divide class into groups.  Each group is given a popular magazine. Assign a category for each group (adult man, adult female, child-teen girl, child-teen boy). Ask students to look through the magazine.  What body types do they see represented in advertisements? Hair, clothes, weight, height, facial features, skin color? What are they shown doing? Cut out the pictures and create a collage of the images.

     

    • At the bottom of the collage, have students write their findings.  How is their category represented in the magazine. What message is the magazine sending about the gender? Is the message attainable/healthy?  Why or why not?

    • Alone or in a group, look through a popular magazine. Pick a category(adult man, adult female, child-teen girl, child-teen boy). Look through the magazine.  What body types do they see represented in advertisements? Hair, clothes, weight, height, facial features, skin color? What are they shown doing? Cut out the pictures and create a collage of the images.

    • At the bottom of the collage, write your findings.  How is their category represented in the magazine. What message is the magazine sending about the gender? Is the message attainable/healthy?  Why or why not?

    Day 3

    • Presentation: Watch a powerpoint with historical ads and that portray a gender stereotype.

     

    • Assessment: Students are going to choose a historical gender stereotyping advertisement and recreate the ad to be gender neutral.  Use gender neutral colors, images, and words. They will post the original ad next to their new advertisement. At the bottom of the poster, students will answer the following questions:

      • Describe what is going on in the ad.

      • What gender stereotype is the ad using?

      • How will different people experience this ad differently?

      • How is the stereotype harmful?

      • What did you change in your ad?

      • How do you think your new ad has a different message.

     

    • Students will present their posters in a gallery walk.

    • Presentation: Watch a powerpoint with historical ads and that portray a gender stereotype.

    • Assessment: You are going to choose a historical gender stereotyping advertisement and recreate the ad to be gender neutral.  Use gender neutral colors, images, and words. They will post the original ad next to their new advertisement. At the bottom of the poster, you will answer the following questions:

      • Describe what is going on in the ad.

      • What gender stereotype is the ad using?

      • How will different people experience this ad differently?

      • How is the stereotype harmful?

      • What did you change in your ad?

      • How do you think your new ad has a different message.

     

    • You will present their posters in a gallery walk.