Developed in Partnership with Maine Boys to Men
Open to all Middle and High School Classes
Division I – 6th – 8th grade
Division II – 9th – 12th grade
Due: February 15, 2013
Table of Contents
- The Challenge
- Range of Activities
- Essential Questions
- Student Outcomes
- Evaluation Rubric
- Curricular Goals
The things we take most for granted are often the most revealing of who we are. Gender norms are one of these things. This Challenge asks you to explore culture by investigating gender. Like an archeologist, you will be looking for gender “artifacts” that reveal the values, expectations, and mores of a culture—yours! Don’t just look at the surface—peel back a layer to examine what the gender norms that we take most for granted actually mean. What do they say about us? And what do they mean for you?
This Challenge begins with your team choosing a gender and then identifying gender stereotypes about boys or girls, men or women.
Then create a 2 to 3-minute video (documentary, mockumentary, exposé-style news piece…any format that you think will serve your content) that:
- Exposes these gender stereotypes; (Division I and II)
- Shows examples of people resisting these stereotypes (OR imagines ways they might); (Division I and II) and
- Demonstrates how others have reacted (or might react) to these examples of non-conformance to gender stereotypes (Division II only).
Your video can include up to 1:00 of footage from other sources. Your target audience is your own peers.
- Video (this is the only Meridian Stories deliverable)
- Key Points and Background Paper, as determined by your teacher
- Historical/cultural research on gender issues
- Interviewing and/or media analysis
- Idea organization, footage research and script writing
- Documentary/News/Other Format Video Creation – Pre-production, Production, Post-production
- Directing, Video Editing, Audio Editing
We recommend that this Meridian Stories Challenge take place inside of a three to four-week time frame. The students must work in teams of 3-4. In the description below, the suggested teacher reviews are at the discretion of the teacher. Below is a suggested breakdown of the students’ work.
During Phase One, student teams will:
1. Identify gender stereotypes: Talk as a team about the messages you received about being a boy or being a girl. Were you told to “be a good girl” or “act like a lady”? To “man up” or “act like a man”? Have you heard people say “boys will be boys”? What are people talking about when they say these things? What’s the message?
2. And then choose one of the following:
- Interview at least three people—include both adults and peers—about the gender messages they received growing up. Which messages did they internalize? How did these messages affect them? What were some positive gender messages that they received? What were some negative ones? Be sure to interview peers as well as people of your parent’s generation. THEN, find three people in your community that, in the eyes of the team, don’t conform to traditional gender stereotypes and interview/present them. They can be the same people as are presented in the first part of the video. Important: Before interviewing individuals, explain how you will use the information they share and ask permission to use their names when citing sources.
- One of the greatest purveyors of gender identity is television. In this option, watch 3 TV episodes from your parent’s or grandparent’s generation. You can find these on Hulu or Netflix. Some examples might include Three’s Company, Love Boat, Cheers, Bewitched and Sanford and Son. What gender norms and stereotypes do you see played out in these shows? THEN, watch 3 current TV episodes. What gender norms and stereotypes do you see played out in these shows? Take notes as you watch. In comparing the two generations of programming, how are gender norms different today? How are they the same? What examples do you see on the current TV shows of people resisting gender norms and stereotypes? What are the consequences (positive or negative) of them doing this? How do others react?
- Watch the commercials during 3 cartoon or other kid shows (ages 7 and under). What gender messages do you see in these commercials? How are toys, food and other products marketed to young boys vs. girls? THEN, visit a large toy store (like Toys R Us) or the toy aisles of a big-box store. How are the toys organized and packaged? Also look at the grocery store in sections where kids’ food resides. What do you see on cereal box covers? What can you conclude about the messaging that very young children receive from toy and food manufacturers? What examples did you find that actively resisted this messaging? What did you find out about the popularity or success of products that resist these gender stereotypes?
|Meridian Storiesprovides two forms of support for the student teams.
Recommended review, as a team, for this Challenge include:
|Media Innovators and Artists||Meridian Tips|
|On Documentary Films – Sarah ChildressOn Making Documentaries – Margaret Heffernan
On Memoir and Non-fiction Writing – Liza Bakewell
|“Six Principal Modes of Documentary Filmmaking”“Creating a Short Documentary”
During Phase Two, student teams will:
- Continue the research started in Phase I and begin to gather the information into an organized narrative. As you continue your research for this challenge, you will be looking for three things:
- Examples of gender stereotypes and societal assumptions about ‘acceptable’ behavior for men and women (or boys and girls). Based on your research and group experience, can you create an archetype for the stereotypical male or female? Who is this person? How do they act, what do they wear, what do they want? Include in your summary a five-word description of this archetypical male or female.
- Examples of people resisting or not conforming to these gender norms and stereotypes.
- Examples of positive or negative reactions to this resistance. For instance, if a gender stereotype is that men are “tough” and strong, what is the reaction to a man who cries in public? If girls are supposed to be “nice,” what is the reaction to a girl who gets angry and yells? Are there both positive and negative reactions? Who are these different reactions coming from? (Division II only)
- Create a Key Points and Background Paper Draft (2- 3 pages) that explains your methodology of research and key insights. Be sure to list your sources, including names of people interviewed (again, be sure you have permission to use your interviewee’s name) and dates of the interview, URL’s and date of retrieval for online articles and TV shows, etc. (The Key Points and Background Paper Draft is written and presented to the teacher for review and comments, at the teacher’s discretion.)
- Brainstorm and articulate how you want to communicate your findings about gender. These findings will include examples of 1) socially-constructed norms and how these norms differ for boys and girls/men and women; 2) examples of resistance to gender norms; and 3) social reactions (positive and/or negative) to this resistance (Division II only).
- Brainstorm and articulate your creative approach to communicating the information above, keeping in mind that the target audience for your video is youth like yourselves. Keep in mind the elements of narrative and storytelling – what is your story here and what are the best devices to communicate that story?
- Create a script and storyboard for the video. We recommend at least two drafts of the script and storyboard be created, with teacher review occurring between each draft.
- Begin pre-production. This primarily includes identifying your key interviewees, TV clip and locations, and planning the logistics for the shoot.
During Phase Three, student teams will:
- Shoot the video.
- Edit the video.
- Post-produce the video, adding music and sound effects as desired.
- Complete the Key Points and Background Paper (if required by the teacher).
- The study of culture examines the socially transmitted beliefs, values, behaviors, traditions and way of life of a group of people. What are gender norms and how are gender norms a part of our culture?
- How are gender norms socially transmitted?
- How have the gender norms of our culture changed over time? How have they stayed the same?
- What are some of the positive ways gender norms have affected you or those you know? What are some of the negative ways? How do gender norms, as a part of our culture, shape our personal identity?
- How does society’s reaction to individuals or groups who do not conform to gender stereotypes affect these individuals and groups? How are gender stereotypes related to social (in)justice?
- How has information gathered from primary sources – your interviews and/or your media/product research – enhanced your understanding of the topic?
- How does one research, select and organize content from a variety of sources in order to present a compelling, cohesive and historically accurate narrative?
- What’s the difference between communicating content using primarily text and communicating content using primarily imagery?
- What are the challenges to producing a factually based narrative using primarily imagery?
- How has immersion in the production of digital media deepened the overall educational experience?
- How has working on a team changed the learning experience?
- The student will understand that gender, as a part of culture, is a social construct defined by the mores and attitudes of the time. Being socially constructed, gender norms change and evolve over time, creating new opportunities and limitations.
- The student will be able to articulate what gender stereotypes tell us about our culture and about the positions of men and women in our culture.
- The student will understand that the way gender is constructed provides opportunities and limitations, both broadly and in relation to one’s personal identity development.
- The student will find examples of ways in which people don’t always conform to gender stereotypes, and will understand that gender nonconformance can lead to positive outcomes or to negative consequences.
- The student will understand the importance of using primary sources to create a complex and nuanced understanding of culture and history.
- The student will understand the processes involved in researching content from a variety of sources; selecting relevant information from those sources; and organizing this information in a way that yields narrative cohesion and historical accuracy.
- The student will know the basic constructs of using video media to effectively communicate information and story.
- The student will know some of the basic constructs of the documentary video genre.
- The student will have an increased awareness of the challenges and rewards of team collaboration.
|CONTENT COMMAND – Effective selection and presentation of gender representations|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Gender||The presentation of gender is unclear||The presentation of gender is clear||The presentation of gender is thorough, thoughtful and compelling|
|Gender Resistance||The choice and presentation of the resistance examples do not service the narrative||The choice and presentation of the resistance examples service the narrative||The choice and presentation of the resistance examples are thoughtful and provocative|
|Reactions to Gender Resistance (Division II only)||The choice and presentation of resistance reactions do not service the narrative||The choice and presentation of resistance reactions service the narrative||The choice and presentation of resistance reactions are thoughtful and provocative|
|STORYTELLING COMMAND – Effective use of narrative elements to communicate content|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Script||The narrative does not use engaging language or deliver the content in an organized fashion||The narrative is clearly written and delivers the content in an organized fashion||The narrative is well written – informative, lively and well organized|
|Creative Approach||The creative approach (narrative format) to the story is generally lacking in form and tone||The creative approach (narrative format) to the story is interesting and generally engaging||The creative approach (narrative format) to the story is effective, thoughtful and engaging|
|MEDIA COMMAND – Effective use of the media to communicate content|
|Criteria||1 – 3||4 – 7||8 – 10|
|Use of Media Elements to Communicate Narrative||The use of new and existing video, stills, graphics, interviews, and/or text is generally ineffective in communicating the narrative||The use of new and existing video, stills, graphics, interviews, and/or text is generally effective in communicating the narrative||The use of new and existing video, stills, graphics, interviews, and/or text is engaging, visually interesting and enhances the narrative|
|Editing||The video feels patched together and the overall editing detracts from the story.||The video flows, but there are occasional editing distractions.||The video is edited cleanly and effectively, resulting in a fluid and engaging video experience.|
|Sound Design||The selection of music and the quality of the sound did not improve the video experience||The selection of music and the quality of the sound inconsistently enhance the video experience||The selection of music and the quality of the sound significantly enhance the video experience|
|21ST CENTURY SKILLS COMMAND (for teachers only) – Effective use of collaborative thinking, creativity and innovation, and initiative and self-direction to create and produce the final project.|
|Collaborative Thinking||The group did not work together effectively and/or did not share the work equally||The group worked together effectively and had no major issues||The group demonstrated flexibility in making compromises and valued the contributions of each group member|
|Creativity and Innovation||The group did not make a solid effort to create anything new or innovative||The group was able to brainstorm new and inventive ideas, but was inconsistent in their realistic evaluation and implementation of those ideas||The group brainstormed many inventive ideas and was able to evaluate, refine and implement them effectively|
|Initiative and Self-Direction||The group was unable to set attainable goals, work independently and manage their time effectively||The group required some additional help, but was able to complete the project on time with few problems||The group set attainable goals, worked independently and managed their time effectively, demonstrating a disciplined commitment to the project|
The Gender Exposé Challenge addresses a range of curricular objectives that have been articulated by two nationally recognized sources:
- The new Common Core Curricular Standards – English Language Arts; and
- The Themes of Social Studies, as outlined by National Council of Social Studies (NCSS).
Below please find the standards that are addressed, either wholly or in part.
Common Core Curricular Standards – English Language Arts
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
|Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea||Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account||Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem|
Text Types and Purposes
|Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.||Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.||Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.|
Text Types and Purposes
|Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.||Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.||Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.|
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
|Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.||Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.||Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.|
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Comprehension and Collaboration
|Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher- led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one- on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.|
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
|Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.||Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.||Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.|
Knowledge of Language
|Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.||Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.||Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.|
Key Ideas and Details
|Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.||Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.||Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.|
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
|Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.||Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.||Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.|
Integration of Knowledge and Idea
|Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.||Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.||Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.|
National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: The Themes of Social Studies
Individual Development and Identity
Personal identity is shaped by an individual’s culture, by groups, by institutional influences, and by lived experiences shared with people inside and outside the individual’s own culture throughout her or his development. Given the nature of individual development in a social and cultural context, students need to be aware of the processes of learning, growth, and interaction at every level of their own school experiences. The examination of various forms of human behavior enhances an understanding of the relationships between social norms and emerging personal identities, the social processes that influence identity formation, and the ethical principles underlying individual action.
Time, Continuity and Change
Studying the past makes it possible for us to understand the human story across time. The historical experiences of societies, peoples and nations reveal patterns of continuity and change. Historical analysis enables us to identify continuities over time in core institutions, values, ideals, and traditions, as well as processes that lead to change within societies and institutions, and that result in innovation and the development of new ideas, values and ways of life.
Human beings create, learn, share, and adapt to culture. The study of culture examines the socially transmitted beliefs, values, institutions, behaviors, traditions and way of life of a group of people; it also encompasses other cultural attributes and products, such as language, literature, music, arts and artifacts, and foods. Students come to understand that human cultures exhibit both similarities and differences, and they learn to see themselves both as individuals and as members of a particular culture that shares similarities with other cultural groups, but is also distinctive. In a multicultural, democratic society and globally connected world, students need to understand the multiple perspectives that derive from different cultural vantage points.