GENDER DIFFERENCES IN COGNITION
A LOCATION INVESTIGATION
By Ramona Adams
GRADE: 7 (Social Studies/Science)
#3 People, Places, & Environment
#1 Identify and describe how gender influences the cultural norms, behaviors and values of individuals.
#2 Compare and contrast the many similarities and differences among humans.
#1 Expand the concept of mental maps of locales regions, and the world that demonstrate understanding of relative location, direction, size, and shape.
#5 Locate and describe varying land forms, water forms, and geographic features, such as mountains, plateaus, islands, rain forest, deserts, continents, and oceans, and explain their relationships within the ecosystem.
Art, Social Studies, Science, Communication
COOPERATIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES:
Think-pair-share, small homogenous groups, large heterogeneous group
Themes of Geography
This lesson will be presented as an experiment. The problem is: Does gender play a role in the way children map directions to a given location? The students will participate in two walking trips to a local McDonald's. A male faculty member (NTA) will escort the boys and a female faculty member (Teacher) will escort the girls. The boys and girls will work in-groups of four to produce directions to the given location. Upon return to the classroom on the following day the students will group together homogeneously to produce two maps (male and female). On day three the students will put final touches on their maps and read written directions. Questions will be presented on the relative and absolute location of McDonald's. Homework question #1 (hypothesis) will also be discussed. During session four the students will participate in another walking trip. Before the trip the girls will read their directions to the boys (rap, song, poem, etc.) and vice versa using a kareoke machine. This time the boys will use the girl's directions and the boys will use the girl's directions. Each group will be responsible for leaving three clues to be retrieved. The faculty members will post the clues. Upon arrival at McDonald's the students will present their clues. If a group does not have all three clues then they must go back to retrieve it. During session five the students will work together to produce one large map. The teacher will record the ideas from the boys and girls. One boy and one girl will produce the map while the other students record journal entries. The teacher will circulate around the classroom discussing their differences in thinking. Once a final map is produced the children will discuss the differences in the gender bias maps and the map that includes both genders. Hopefully the students will be able to come to the conclusion that there is a difference in thinking between boys and girls but neither is better. The better map is the one that they completed heterogeneously. Hence, if they work together the results are better.
PERFORMANCE TASK/HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES:
-Make sure they know the name of their town and their street address, and that they can describe the building and neighborhood in which they live.
-Show the children north, south, east, and west by using your home as a reference point.
-Playing games can reinforce their knowledge. Once children have their directional bearings, you can hide an object, then give them directions to its location.
-See if you can find your street on a town or city map. Point out where your relatives or your friends live.
-Point out different kinds of maps to the children--such as a state highway map, a city of town map, shopping mall map and discuss their different uses.
-Before taking a trip shows your children a map of where you are going. Look for other routes you could take and talk about it.
-Make a three-dimensional map of your home or neighborhood using milk cartons for buildings. Draw a map of the block on a piece of cardboard, then cut up the cartons (or any other three-dimensional item) and use them to represent buildings. Use bottle tops or smaller boxes to add interest to the map.
-Students will make gender based maps first. Then they will combine maps to produce one heterogeneous map. Students will also explain gender-based maps via Karachi machine. Students will be able to dices relative/absolute location, gender differences, procedure, etc.
-Daily Journal Writing
Question #1- What is the difference between relative and absolute location?
Question #2- Which map will be easier to follow (male/female)? Explain.
Question #3- Will gender make a difference on how you arrive at a location?
Question #4- What are some differences in the gender based maps?
Question #5- Describe the procedure we took to investigate our problem.
-Handouts on relative/absolute location
Observation, projects, scientific method and journals
Large drawing paper
Money to eat at McDonald's
Students will use the steps in the scientific method to write the experiment in a final report. Each report should include a personal map that starts at Turner and ends at a local McDonald's located on 52nd and Chestnut Street.