Lesson plan for primary schools ages 9-11 years

Download this Let Toys Be Toys lesson plan as a print-ready PDF, together with accompanying worksheets

Download Marketing Team worksheet
Download Creativity and Strategy Team worksheet
Download Finance Team worksheet

Toys and Gender

Who’s it for?

Ages 9-11 (Upper KS2 / Curriculum for Excellence 2nd level)


England, Wales and Northern Ireland:

English (Spoken language), Maths (statistics), Art and Design, Design &Technology


 Literacy and English, Expressive Arts (including art and design), Technologies

Learning objectives

Children will learn to:

  • Compare adverts to identify the use of gender in advertising
  • Identify how adverts use gender
  • Identify the impacts of using gender in advertising

Lesson Aims

Today we will:

  • Explore how toys are advertised using gender
  • Create an inclusive toy advert
  • Develop team work and presentation skills

Who can do this?

All: All students will discuss and look at examples of how gender is used in advertising
Most: Most students will discuss the impact of gender based advertising
Some: Some students will use addition, subtraction and statistics to create a new inclusive toy advert

Resources needed

Scrap paper
Internet and projector

Activity 1

Whole Class ** 10 minutes
Teacher: Play Moonsand advert (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zgdj5FXOOp8)
Students: Complete the Venn diagram on paper to explore similarities and differences in the two adverts. Students to consider:

  • Adjectives used
  • Language used
  • Music

Students: Discuss responses as a class and guess what they will be studying about today.
Teacher: Lead discussion using following questions:
What is the same about these adverts? What’s different? Why do you think the company used those adjectives? Would all boys/girls like this advert? Why/why not?
Show learning objectives.

Activity 2

Team Activity ** 10 minutes
Students: Thought shower: Students to discuss why toys are important. Record team answers on paper.
Teacher: Use student’s responses to discuss the importance of toys being available to boys and girls to develop important skills for the future, and to have fun! Show before and after pictures of toy shops and toy advertisements.

Students: Talk to their partner about how a girl may feel if they wanted something from the ‘boys section’, and vice versa.

Teacher: Remind students of their responses from the thought shower and ask students: is this fair? Why/why not?

If time, show the class The Gendered Advertising Remixer

Activity 3

Team Activity **10 minutes
Students: Using catalogues/magazines/newspapers/internet, teams find examples of toys advertised to boys, girls and both. Students cut these out and make a team collage. Students must consider:

  • Colour
  • Children in the advert
  • Adjectives and language used

Activity 4

Team Activity ** 30 minutes
Students: Create an inclusive toy and pitch their ideas to ‘Dragons’ (the teacher, teaching assistants) for an investment of £500. Students can either adapt a toy from their collage or create a new toy.
Teacher: Dragon’s Den clip can be shown if needed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQTzLJCUtjk

Students: Begin by discussing what toy they will create and how they will make it inclusive. Remind students to consider:

  • Colour
  • Children in the advert
  • Adjectives and language used

Tasks can be completed as a team or in sub teams where tasks are differentiated.

Finance team: Higher ability
Creativity and Strategy team: Middle ability
Marketing team: Lower ability

Download Marketing Team worksheet
Download Creativity and Strategy Team worksheet
Download Finance Team worksheet

Teacher: Complete lesson by asking students to pitch their new toy. Discuss as a class why it is important that toys are inclusive. Discuss how class can make a difference.

This lesson plan has been developed by Let Toys Be Toys as part of our work to help challenge gender stereotypes. Many thanks to the teachers who helped with their advice and feedback. If you have any feedback or additional ideas, please add them in the comments or email us.

More resources for schools.

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