In a world where even seemingly gender-neutral toys like building blocks and sports equipment are divided and sold in separate bold blue and soft pink versions, it’s increasingly difficult for parents and teachers to help kids learn about gender equality and the harms of gender norms. Kids are taught from an extremely early age that some things are “just for girls” or “just for boys”—and it can be next to impossible to erase these deeply ingrained messages as kids age.
While it’s tough to undo years of conscious and unconscious gendering, one of the most effective ways to help kids break down these beliefs is through the use of journal prompts. As kids write about the existence and current state of gender equality in today’s world, they’ll have the opportunity to assess for themselves what it really means for women and girls to be equal to men and boys. They’ll also consider important topics relating to gender equality in their own lives—such as what happens when they see a friend breaking a gender norm and what challenges both genders face in today’s world.
Journaling Writing Prompts for Kids
Use these all new journal prompts to help students dig a little deeper into their belief systems and learn to promote and question the presence of gender equality in today’s world!
- Why is gender equality important?
- What does gender equality mean?
- Do you think that gender equality exists in our country? What about across the world? Why or why not?
- Do you think gender equality exists in our school? Why or why not?
- Have you ever felt like you couldn’t do something you wanted to do because of your gender? What made you feel that way? Write about your experience.
- Are some things only “for girls,” and some things only “for boys”? Why or why not?
- Why do you think our society decides that some things are just “for girls” or “for boys”? How do people choose which things are which?
- What does it mean when a girl or boy decides to break the norm and does something that is only intended for the other gender?
- Have you ever done something that was outside of the norm for your gender? Why did you do it? How did it make you feel?
- Do you think that some things should be reserved for one gender or the other? Why or why not?
- Write about the first time that you learned something was “for girls” or “for boys.” How did someone telling you that make you feel?
- Have you ever done something just because you felt like you should since it was “what girls like” or “what boys like”? Why or why not?
- Do you think it is harmful to kids to teach them that something is only for girls or only for boys? Why or why not?
- How much do you and your friends adhere to gender norms? What would happen if one of you broke a big norm (such as a boy wearing a dress or a girl getting a buzz-cut)?
- Do people who break gender norms get treated differently from people who adhere to them? Why or why not?
- What would the world look like if there were true gender equality? How would that differ from today’s world?
- How do gender norms contribute to gender inequality? Give an example and explain.
- Historically, some cultures in the world operated as matriarchies. Do you think a matriarchal society would be better than a patriarchal society? Why or why not?
- Give an example of a group or person who works to create gender equality. Explain what this person or group does and what you admire about him/her/them.
- What is one simple thing our government could do to promote gender equality? Describe your idea and explain how it would work.
- How does gender inequality in the workplace contribute to gender inequality at home? Give an example and explain.
- How does gender inequality at home contribute to gender inequality in the workplace? Give an example and explain.
- Give an example of gender equality that you’ve witnessed and explain how it impacted your life.
- If you could do any one thing to promote gender equality, what would you do? Why?
- When do you think true gender equality will exist in America? What will need to happen before we can get there?
- Why does gender inequality exist?
- Have you ever met someone who truly believed that one gender was less capable of doing something than the other gender? How do you think this person came to his or her beliefs?
- What would you say to a person who believed that one gender was less capable of doing a particular job in order to change that person’s mind?
- What is the hardest part of being a girl or a woman in a society without gender equality? Why?
- What is the hardest part of being a boy or a man in a society without gender equality? Why?
- If you could do any one thing that is traditionally considered to be for the opposite gender, what would you do? Why?
- Is gender something that people are born with, or is it something only created and assigned by society? Why?
- Write about someone you admire who breaks gender norms. What norm does this person break? Do you think it is hard for him or her to do so? Why do you admire him or her?
Until next time, journal on…