After mashing up a few videos with the Lego-gender Remix I found it very interesting how different a children’s toy could be advertised for different genders. When I had the girls visual showing, even with the boys advertisement voice, it still seemed pleasing. There were bright colors and smiling faces. When I switched them and had the boys visual with the girls advertisement voice, there were dark dreary colors, violence and loud action noises. Even the topics were drastically different. All of the girls advertisements showed friends playing with animals, baking things, helping each other and playing outside. All of the “boys” topics involved fighting and violence or known characters from TV shows and movies.
This trend continues with books, television shows and most of the time society. In the articles we read this week they all seemed to say the same thing. That children and their learning are influenced by their surroundings, both physical and social. I do believe that books may influence children at a young age on important topics such as gender or identity. A lot of books that are out there today have gender specific plots or themes. I think that these types of gender specific books don’t typically turn up in a child’s library until after the pre-school level. (This is just based on books I have in my own classroom and school library) To contradict myself, I also feel like there are many more gender neutral stories that are out there. I teach the third grade and many fictional stories that we read have no specific lean towards either gender.
Another thought. In the third grade we do a lot of research and reading on biographies. Many of the people are from the past and have very bold character traits, such as brave, independent, determined, ect. After reading series of books like this I do notice my students taking on some of the traits we have read about. For example, after doing an extensive unit on Ruby Bridges I noticed my students being more caring and accepting of people who are different. I also noticed that they appreciated learning and school more after seeing what she went through to go to school.