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Teacher Lesson Return to "Not Sold on Sexist Ads"
Not Sold on Sexist Ads
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ELA Literacy & Social and Emotional Learning
False Advertising


Story Summary: A young woman notices that most television and print advertisements depict men and women in unrealistic ways. She explores this further and uncovers both the prevalence of gender stereotypes in media and ways for youth to combat them.

Lesson Objectives and Common Core Connections
• Students make personal connections to a text and successfully participate in story-based activities and discussions.
• Students will listen to and take the perspectives of others from diverse backgrounds.
• Students will respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives (CCLS SL.1).
• Students will read and comprehend literary nonfiction proficiently (CCLS R.10).
• Students will write routinely over extended and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences (CCLS W.10).

Before Reading the Story (10 min)
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1. Welcome students to the group. Introduce the lesson by telling them they will be reading a true story by a teen who takes a stand against advertisements that send out inaccurate messages that reinforce gender stereotypes.

2. Introduce the opinion continuum activity by explaining to the group that they will be doing an activity where they move around while learning more about what they and their peers think about a topic.

3. Review the opinion continuum directions with the group:
• On either end of the room, there are signs that read “agree” and “disagree.”
• I (the teacher or facilitator) will read a statement and then you (students) will decide whether it’s true for you (agree) or not (disagree). You (students) will move somewhere in between the two signs that best reflects your opinion. (If you’re unsure, you should stand somewhere in the middle.)
• Once everyone has moved, I will invite volunteers to share why they chose to stand where they are.

4. Next, have students stand up and move to the open space that you’ve created in the room.

5. Read the first statement and have students move to a space between the two signs:
• When I see women or men on TV or in magazines, I always think, “I know men or women who act just like that.”

6. Once everyone has moved, ask students to notice where their peers are standing. Ask volunteers to share why they are standing where they are. Students may change their position if they’re influenced by a peer’s opinion.

7. Repeat for these other statements:
• The media (television, magazines, and websites) sexualizes men and women equally in advertisements.
• Men and women learn how to look and behave through what they see on TV or in magazines.
• There is a definite difference between how the same product (yogurt, for example) is advertised to men and how it is advertised to women.

8. Thank students for sharing their opinions.

During Reading (20 min)
By practicing active reading strategies while reading aloud and discussing as a group, students build comprehension and support fluency.

1. Introduce the story (see the summary above).

2. Share the expectations for a group read-aloud: volunteers take turns reading aloud as much or as little as they would like. As the teacher, you may stop periodically to discuss or check in on active reading by asking students to share their responses to the story.

3. Tell students they will practice an active reading strategy called reading for a purpose. This will help them read for a purpose and be prepared to use the text in later activities.

4. Reading for a purpose directions: Ask students to read for moments in the text when they have a question, they agree with the writer, or they disagree with the writer. In the margins of the story, students should place a question mark (?) if they have a question, a plus sign (+) if they agree, or a minus sign (-) if they disagree.

5. While sitting in a circle, read the story aloud together. Stop to discuss periodically, supporting peer-to-peer talk and non-judgmental listening. To do this, ask for volunteers to share what they wrote a question mark (?), plus sign (+), or minus sign (-) next to and why. Alternately, you can pose an open question such as “What stands out to you in this section and why?”

After Reading the Story (15 min)
During this post-reading activity students will make connections, build understanding, and rehearse positive behaviors.

1. Introduce the journaling/draw it activity by explaining to the group that they will be doing an activity where they represent the experiences and interests of men and women that advertisements often get wrong.

2. Share the following quote, lifted from Nahian’s story: “Once I started paying attention, I noticed many ads…only reinforce dated stereotypes (men work, women take care of the home)...” In her story, Nahian talks about taking action against the messages that advertisements send about gender roles. One way to do this is to share the truth of our own experiences or those of people we know.

3. Read aloud journaling/draw it guidelines that you’ve posted in the room: Think about someone you know, a man, woman, or yourself, who doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold that advertisements use.
• Write about (or draw a picture of) a woman doing something she loves outside of the home or write about (or draw a picture of) a man doing something he loves inside the home.
• If you write, explain how the activity your person enjoys challenges the gender stereotypes found in advertising.
• If you draw, include a caption at the bottom of your drawing that describes what your man or woman is doing and how it challenges the gender stereotypes found in advertising.

4. Give students about 10 minutes to write or draw.

5. Invite students to share their writing/drawings, as time allows.

6. Thank students for being thoughtful members of the group, working to make connections to Nahian’s story, reflecting on their own lives, and sharing with one another.
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[Other Teacher Resources]
(NYC-2016-01-07)

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