Kate Lyman gives examples of classroom experiences when she explored the idea of gender stereotypes among her 2nd and 3rd grade students.
- Women and body image: pursue to look like the models in magazines.
- Male and females still have the same gender expectation of 60 years ago: women have the major responsibility to take care of the children and the house while men get higher pay in their jobs.
** Barbie manufacturers made her with tiny waist and big boobs, long and skinny legs, arms, and neck, and tiny feet. Barbie advertising sends this hidden message that a woman should look like barbies and that women want to look like her, hoping that men would like them better.
** Ads on women's magazines also have a hidden message: If you consume a product (cosmetics, perfume, cigarettes, weight loss) you will look like a model.
** Lyman created an old fashioned school day in her classroom where boys and girls were treated differently: girls wore dresses and boys wore slacks and shirts with collars; chairs and desks were in rows; students followed an "old-fashioned" schedule (hand writing, spelling bees, rote math, and textbook science); lines were divided based on gender; boys were treated differently from girls when it came to classroom participation and work.
This exercise made the boys and girls alike to think critically about their treatment: girls were upset at how Lyman treated them and the boys enjoyed all the attention and slack they received. In addition, boys and girls could learn how to be aware of other forms of gender discrimination in other situations.