Using Mulan to Teach Gender Stereotypes
I love Disney. Honestly, at this point, it’s probably a bit irrational. My husband doesn’t understand it. My kids don’t understand it. But Disney movies in the 90s were the companion to an only child, i.e. me. So anytime I can go back to my happy place I will. Therefore, I use a lot of Disney in my teaching.
When I do my big unit on gender stereotypes, I reference Mulan a lot. One year, I had almost an entire student group tell me that they hadn’t seen the movie. I dreamed that night about all the lessons I could plan around the movie. Besides viewing it as literature, I had the students identify any point in the movie that supported the idea that gender norms/ stereotypes can be beneficial, and any point in the movie that supported the idea that gender norms/ stereotypes are not beneficial. I had them transfer those into a graphic organizer that also had a bubble outline for a persuasive essay. They then had to choose a side and write a draft using the movie as evidence. Pretty easy.
If you’d like the free graphic organizer, you can find it here.