Monday, July 02, 2007

Gender Roles

On the last day of school I showed the movie March of the Penguins to my class. I wanted to make sure they understood the movie so at different times throughout the movie, I paused to ask comprehension questions and make sure they were grasping the content.

When we got to the part where the daddy penguins are the ones who primarily care for the eggs, I checked for understanding. Here is how it went:

Me: "Who takes care of the baby penguin?"

Kid 1: "The daddy!"

Kid 2: "The daddy? What about the mommy?"

Me: "The mommy has to go for a long, cold walk and get food."

Kid 2: "Oh, so it is kind of like she had to go out and get the groceries?"

Me: "Yeah, I guess you could say that."

This was of course funny but it struck me as interesting as well. The student who made the grocery store comment is the brightest of the bunch in the class. She is very independent and is a great thinker. Her tone and mannerisms were not what I expected from her. She was thrown by the role reversal and was not ok until she rationalized why the mommy would not be with the baby. It was too far of a stretch for her.


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