Author: GLE Team | Published on 1 August 2023
This is a writing task that shows learners to know how to describe a character using descriptive language. The focus of this task is to help learners understand how to use the right vocabulary while doing descriptive writing tasks.
Stage 1: Warm up
Ask learners to draw a doctor, a nurse and an astronaut on 3 separate pieces of paper. Allow 5 minutes for this.
As a follow up, have learners add a description for each character, including a name. Have them describe physical characteristics, uniform, as well as personality traits, attitude towards work etc. Allow 15 minutes for this or however long time allows.
Ask the learners to place each of their pictures and descriptions in 3 sections of the room – one area for each character. Divide the class into 3 groups of learners of all genders and assign each group to a set of pictures.
Ask each group to decide on common traits each of the images have and hear ideas from a variety of learners. Focus in on this more closely by asking learners to decide if the majority of images for their job role are gendered as male or female or neutral. Take feedback from each group.
It is likely that the majority of doctors and astronauts will be male and the majority of nurses will be female. Discuss this. Ask questions such as ‘Why would a nurse more likely be viewed as female when a Dr would be male?’ Explore the fact that both are care giving roles. Say, ‘The difference is the Dr would require further education. Why is it likely for a male to have received this?’ Follow up by asking for vocabulary that linked to the astronaut. Expect words such as ‘adventurous, explorer, brave’. Ask, ‘Why would these words more likely be masculine than feminine?’ Explore and address any stereotypes that arise connected to girls and STEM subjects.
Stage 6: Plenary
Ask learners to think of character from books or movies (or their life) that conform or challenge these roles.
Gender Responsive Notes: Ensure gender neutral language throughout; mixed gender groups to analyse images; ensure answers are taken from a variety of learners; the opportunity to analyse a piece of writing/character created by learners through a gender lens.