Brownie Global Action Award
Rewriting Nursery Rhymes
As part of earning the Global Action Award explore a nursery rhyme and how it might have some stereotypes about what girls and boys are like. Then, make up a new gender-equal poem.
Background: In 2015, leaders around the world agreed to work together to accomplish 17 goals by 2030—these are referred to as the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, or SDGs for short. They focus on things like taking care of the environment, making sure all people have enough to eat, and improving people’s health.
The Girl Scout Global Action award calls for girls to address the global goals by discovering, connecting, and taking action in their communities and the world. In 2020, the award focused on SDG 5: Gender Equality.
Do you know what stereotype means? A stereotype is a generalization or assumption about an individual or community based on their identity or behavior. For example, the idea that girls are weak at math is a stereotype. Such generalizations are often highly inaccurate or may be completely made-up.
Activity: Let’s get started! Have you heard the nursery rhyme that goes:
“What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of! What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of!”
We know boys aren’t really made of snips and snails, just like girls aren’t always nice. Rhymes like this are “stereotypes” about how girls and boys are. How can you change the nursery rhyme so that it is gender equal—so that girls and boys can be made of anything they want?
Think about how you would answer these questions:
What are boys made of?
What are girls made of?
Say your answers or have a family member help you to write down your new poem. Then, say your new poem out loud.
We hope you enjoyed writing your own poem and that you learned a little more about yourself and what it means to have gender equality!
And If you liked this activity, you can find more global activities on our website girlscouts.org/forgirls—click on “Think Globally.” There you can find the Global Action Award Activity Packet and complete the other activities to earn your Global Action award.
Troop Leaders: The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in your Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.
Girl Scouts at Home activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming and optimized for use at home during a period of social distancing.