Nature vs. Nurture At the same time, students in the Social Studies classroom begin to investigate the essential question, "Why do human beings act the way they do?" Students explore the Nature vs. Nurture debate. "Do human beings act the way they do because of genetics or do human beings act the way they do because of their environment?" Students read and discuss material presenting both sides of the issue. They are then asked to connect this material to their own life experiences and to the play.
Before seeing the film based on the work of biologist Desmond Morris, students are asked to describe their own behavior in relationships from early childhood to the present. Students write short summaries of current understandings and questions at the end of class sessions. At the start of the next class session, students independently brainstorm what they recall from the preceding lesson. This information is then compiled on the board into a large visual web for class review.
Prior to reading several articles in support of the nurture theory, students are asked to complete a pre-reading activity based on gender roles. Students examine their own perceptions and compare their thoughts to those of the experts.
After being presented with data and varied viewpoints, students are asked to draw their own opinions and defend them in the Nature Vs. Nurture position paper. As with most writing assignments, students are required to show evidence of prewriting, drafting, and revision. Students are given a rubric to help guide them through the topic. This assessment is used to demonstrate student understanding of the concepts before the final assessment.