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Storybook Stereotypes

Read some storybooks and talk about whether or not the characters fit into the stereotypes that society has created. (Think of books like ‘The Paper Bag Princess’ by Robert Munsch where the character typically falls outside of the “norm”)

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  • What storybooks will you read? 
  • Who will read the books? 
  • How long will this activity take? 


  • Read some stories to the group/ have them take turns reading. 
  • Discuss if the character acts like what we are used to, or if they act differently. 
  • Talk about how these characters fall outside of the “norm” and what the “norm” really is (gender stereotypes). 
  • Have the group create a character for a storybook that doesn’t fit into a stereotype. 
  • After the characters are created, share them with the group. 


  • What do you know now that you did not know before?  
  • Do you think the stories would change if there were different characters? 
  • What would you change next time?  


Storybooks with different characters in them - picture books work best!

Keep it Simple

Have the group re-enact some of the stories with the genders flipped. Is there a difference? Does it affect the story at all? 

Take it Further

Using the character that you have created, write a story about them. Think about the qualities that you want your character to have.