Gender Portrayals in Toys

Gender Portrayals in Toys.pdf

Dublin Core


Gender Portrayals in Toys




On many occasions, the toys we play with or the games we participate in reflect roles that many of us will some day fill. These objects and events are often associated with long standing gender portrayals through the characteristics they promote. Boys have been traditionally viewed as tough and always on the move. Girls are traditionally viewed as timid, dainty, and more domestic. However, how are these roles determined? Are stereotypical toys only to be played with in one specific way? What determines a toy as one for a boy or one for a girl? How does our culture or environment influence these ideas? In this unit, learners will be exploring these ideas. Learners will look at a variety of images looking at the traditional gender roles, in particular toy advertisements. After thoroughly analyzing a chosen toy advertisement, the learner will recreate the image using the toy in a different, or unexpected way.


Molly D. Chance


1. CMA 2007.6_1
- Portrait of the Misses de Balleroy in a Landscape with a Dog, Henri-Francois Riesener, 1805-1815, oil on canvas
2. CMA 1974.258
- The Poacher, William Kidd, 1818, oil on panel


Handheld Art


Columbia Museum of Art

Unit Plan Item Type Metadata


8 classes


Visual Arts Standards:
1. VA5-1.2 Describe ways that different materials, techniques, and processes evoke different responses in one who is creating or viewing artworks.
2. VA5-2.1 Select a work of art, analyze its composition, and discuss which elements of art and principles of design are used in the work.
3. VA5-3.2 Select and use subject matter, symbols, ideas, and the elements and principles of design to communicate meaning through his or her art making.

Integrated CCSS:
Media Arts Standards:
1. MA5-1.4 Utilize information literacy skills to make informed decisions about his or her use of digital tools and resources.
2. MA5-3.1 Identify and describe the purpose and the intended audience for a variety of media texts.
3. MA5-3.3 Express opinions about ideas, issues, and/or experiences presented in media texts and give evidence from the texts to support his or her opinions.
4. MA5-4.1 Describe ways that the media arts relate to everyday life and to activates in the world at large.


1. The learner will analyze a variety of visual clues identifying gender portrayals through specific characteristics.
2. The learner will construct a list of stereotypical gender portrayals associated with common toys displayed in the media.
3. The learner will choose a toy advertisement and will recreate the image by displaying it in a new or unexpected way.
4. The learner will participate in both a self and group critique reflecting on how their image visually represents play.


- Pencils and erasers
- Copy paper or card stock
- Colored pencils

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