Author: GLE Team | Published on 1 September 2023


'Talking About Family' is a speaking and discussion task about family roles and gendered stereotypes linked to these with a follow up written task.

Stage 1: Warm up

Display or draw an image of a family. Ask learners what they see. Responses should include ‘a family/parents and children/mother, father, son, daughter’.

Stage 2

Divide the class into groups with learners of all genders and abilities. Explain that they will discuss and write sentences about the family. This could be about them as a whole, e.g. The family has a mother, father, son and daughter; or  the family is made up of a two fathers, and 3 children could be more descriptive, e.g. The mother is caring and supportive. As a next step, ask learners to include sentences about the roles of each member of the family, for example the parental roles, e.g. The father works to provide for the family; and the jobs that maybe the children do in the household, e.g. The son mows the lawn and the daughter helps the mother to cook. Allow 15 minutes for sentences to be composed.

Stage 3

At the end of the given time, ask learners to volunteer to share some sentences. 

Stage 4

As learners share, comment on any gender stereotypes. Discuss the example sentences – could the mother work? Might the father cook every evening? Could the daughter play football and the son enjoy baking? Ask learners to share sentences they have written that conform to or challenge the stereotypes of these gender roles.

Stage 5

Display the sentences if possible in the classroom. Ask students to try to re-write any that conform to gender stereotypes in a neutral manner or in a way that challenges these expected roles. This can be a tool that is referred back to at any point where a stereotype appears in a book or as part of a discussion.  

Gender Responsive Notes: Ensure gender neutral language throughout; mixed gender groups to analyse image; 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.


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 Norms: ideas, standards and expectations to which women and men generally conform and how they should act within a range that defines a particular society, culture and community at that point in time. They are often internalised early in life; gender norms can establish a life cycle of gender socialisation and stereotyping. For example, a gender norm might be that boys play football and girls watch.