Author: GLE Team | Published on 1 August 2023


'My bedroom' is a writing task that requires learners to describe in detail their bedroom so that a partner could draw it accurately. 

Stage 1: warm up

Show an image of a room or if this is not possible, ask learners to share vocabulary that could be used to describe the room you are in You can also ask hem to write what they can see in the room – they should note down nouns, adjectives and adverbials e.g items, colours, sizes, images, shapes. Note down words. Discuss nouns, adjectives etc. and the roles of these. If synonyms are mentioned, group these together/ mention the item using simple tense.   

Stage 2

Give an opening sentence of the image/room you are in and ask learners to collaborate for 5 minutes on follow up sentences that would describe the setting in great detail. After the time is up, ask for volunteers to share their co-constructed sentences and add these to your own to create a shared piece of writing as an example. 

Stage 3

Explain to the learners that they will need to write a description of their bedroom so that the reader can vividly imagine it. Their description should be so good and clear that someone reading it could draw their room. They will have 15 minutes (or however long it takes) to create their piece of descriptive writing.

Stage 4

When the time is up, collect all the writing and redistribute at random. They must now draw the bedroom that they have been given the description of. Allow 10 minutes or however long possible for this. 


Stage 5

As a next step, ask the learners to try and identify which of their peers bedrooms they could have drawn. What clues are there? Pick up on any clues that link to gender stereotypes, such as ‘a trophy’, ‘football poster’, ‘toy car’ might all be stereotypically linked to learners identifying as male, and ‘doll’, ‘pink cushion’, ‘flowers’ might be stereotypically linked to learners identifying as female. 

Stage 6

Discuss any of these gendered assumptions and ask whether anyone identifying as a gender different to the stereotype has that in their room or likes those things. 

Gender Responsive Notes: Ensure gender neutral language throughout; random allocation of learning to ensure gender of writers remains unknown in order to identify gendered language; ensure answers are taken from a variety of learners; the opportunity to analyse a piece of writing created by learners through a gender lens.


Noun: naming word, e.g. cat

Adjective: describes the noun, e.g. small

Synonym: a word with the same meaning e.g. big and massive 

Gender Stereotypes: a generalised view or preconception about attributes or characteristics, or the roles that are or ought to be possessed by, or performed by, women and men. A gender stereotype is harmful when it limits learners’ capacity to develop their personal abilities, pursue their education opportunities, professional careers and/or make choices about their lives. For example, it is a common stereotype that men should be confident and aggressive, and women are quieter and passive. 

Gender Neutral Language: language that avoids bias towards a particular sex or gender. In English, this includes use of nouns that are not gender-specific to refer to roles or professions, formation of phrases in a coequal manner, and discontinuing the blanket use of male or female terms. For example, it’s referring to someone you don’t know as “they” rather than using the pronoun “he” or “she,” or  perhaps addressing a group as “everyone” rather than saying, “Hey, guys, and adapting gendered terms such as businessman to business person instead.

Want to know more about the GLE Team?

In a groundbreaking initiative, the British Council, under the English Connects programme, undertook a transformative mission to champion gender-inclusive practices in Sub-Saharan Africa with a cohort of 41 dedicated teacher educators and teachers from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Sudan. This dynamic group referred to as the GLE Team worked together to design this resource.

Read about our Creating Gender Pedagogy Resources for Teachers project: