• Lenape Regional High School District
    Gender, Culture and Society (American Women) ACC 

    Statement of Purpose:

    The purpose of all curriculum guides is to provide direction for instruction. They identify the written outcomes in a subject and /or grade as the basis for classroom activities and student assessment. In order to achieve maximum understanding, the objectives identified, as learning outcomes must be written clearly and reflect the specific learning and behavior which are expected.

    Objectives are written as major outcomes and stated to require critical thinking. Teachers should understand that they must make careful decisions about the specific sub skills and prior learning needed to reach these objectives. These professionals are encouraged to reflect with others teaching the same curriculum for this purpose and also to identify the most appropriate resources and methods of assessment. The assessments are directly aligned with the objectives. Therefore, the objectives in this guide are designed to provide direction to the teacher in order to facilitate instructional planning.

    All teachers, parents and students should be informed of the expected outcomes (i.e. objectives) for the subject and/or grade level.


    Program of Studies Description:

    Students in this semester class will be able to critically analyze a variety of gender based, contemporary social issues and be able to formulate and articulate opinions on these topics. A large emphasis is based on discussion and examining various viewpoints of each issue.  

    Core Content Standards for Social Studies United States and New Jersey History: 6. Social Studies (2009)

    Standard 6.1: U.S. History: America in the World: All students will acquire the knowledge and skills to think analytically about how past and present interactions of people, cultures, and the environment shape the American heritage. Such knowledge and skills enable students to make informed decisions that reflect fundamental rights and core democratic values as productive citizens in local, national, and global communities.

    Standard 6.2: World History/Global Studies: All students will acquire the knowledge and skills to think analytically and systematically about how past interactions of people, cultures, and the environment affect issues across time and cultures. Such knowledge and skills enable students to make informed decisions as socially and ethically responsible world citizens in the 21st century.

    Standard 6.3: Active Citizenship in the 21st Century: All students will acquire the skills needed to be active, informed citizens who value diversity and promote cultural understanding by working collaboratively to address challenges that are inherent in living in an interconnected world.


    Textbook and Resource Materials – Identify on-line resources as well:

    Opposing Viewpoints: Male/Female Roles
    Opposing Viewpoints: Violence Against Women

    Opposing Viewpoints: Abortion

    Opposing Viewpoints: Working Women

    Newsweek magazine

    They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War. by DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook

    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

    No Body's Perfect

    Hunger Pains by Mary Pipher


    Boyfriend/Girlfriend (BEMTC)

    Iron Jawed Angels

    North Country


    Abusive Relationships

    Killing Us Softly 3

    Class Trips:

    Alice Paul Homestead, Moorestown,NJ


    http://www.teachersdomain.org/(Stem cell research)

    http://www.msnbc.com/(Various current issues videos)

    http://www.nytimes.com/(Daily lesson plans)

    http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com/(Positive media images)

    http://www.usatoday.com/(Gender articles)

    http://www.careerjournal.com/(Gender articles)


    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/thin/program.html(Dying to be thin)


    Course Topics/Objectives/Activities/Assessments:

    Topic: Gender RolesObjective 1: The student will be able to evaluate the role that society & biology play in the formation and perpetuation of gender roles and be able to support their opinions on a variety of modern-day, gender related issues. (6.1.12.A.13, 6.1.12.A.14, 6.1.12.D.14, 6.1.12.C.16, 6.1.12.D.16, 6.3.12.D.1)

    Suggested Activities: · Read and discuss selected opposing viewpoints from Male/Female Roles book to explore whether biology, society or both determine the formation of gender roles. · Participate in a physical “take a stand” discussion to explore feelings about a wide range of gender related issues. (Example: Men as stay at home dads—agree or disagree?) · Debate selected opposing viewpoints from Male/Female Roles book to explore whether women's roles in the military should be expanded.

    · View “Boyfriend/Girlfriend” video to assess how gender identity impacts male and female's perceptions of one another.

    · Read and discuss articles, “Daddy's Here to Stay” (http://www.usatoday.com/) and “Stay-at-home Dads Face a Career-Limiting Stigma” (http://www.careerjournal.com/) to explore the stigma surrounding some stay-at-home dads.

    · Examine textbooks, magazines, and music videos to recognize unrealistic and biased portrayals of both men and women.

    · Compare and contrast “How to Be a Good Wife,” from a home economics textbook in 1954 with a version written in 2006 to debate what changes have truly taken root regarding gender roles in marriage.

    · View video “Gender Equity in the Classroom” to deduce reasons for why there may be achievement gaps between boys and girls in schools.

    · Analyze statistics to evaluate current trends in age of marriage and educational levels and the impact of these trends on society.

    · Record and analyze the types of toys marketed for boys and girls as a basis for discussing gender stereotyping.

    · Collaborate with a Child Development and/or Psychology class to plan and complete interviews with kindergarten age and 5th grade students in order to determine the children's stereotypes and beliefs regarding gender roles.

    · Conduct interviews with a married couple, a single female in her thirties and a single male in his thirties to learn about the division of household responsibilities and to determine if gender stereotyping is present.


    1. The student will develop a creative essay to be shared in class discussion entitled “If I woke up tomorrow as a member of the opposite sex…” to evaluate their own opinions and biases in regards to the opposite sex.

    2. The student will write a take-home essay analyzing the origins and effects of stereotypes and gender role biases on society by identifying the main issues surrounding gender equity/bias.

    Topic: Historical Overview of American Women

    Objective 2: The student will be able to summarize the importance of key women, events and issues pertinent to the 19th and 20th centuries. (6.1.12.D.2, 6.1.12.A.3, 6.1.12.D.3, 6.1.12.A.4, 6.1.12.A.5, 6.1.12.D.5, 6.1.12.A.6, 6.1.12.D.6, 6.1.12.C.7, 6.1.12.D.7, 6.1.12.C.8, 6.1.12.D.9, 6.1.12.D.10, 6.1.12.D.11, 6.1.12.A.13, 6.1.12.D.13, 6.1.12.A.14, 6.1.12.D.14, 6.1.12.C.16, 6.1.12.D.16, 6.2.12.D.3, 6.2.12.D.4, 6.2.12.D.5)

    Suggested Activities: · Research and compile information on notable American women through media center database research.

    · Blend information from the temperance, abolition, suffrage, birth control, and settlement house movements to write short articles about notable women's role in social reform throughout American History.

    · Compile original thoughts regarding women's motivations in various social reforms by reading primary sources such as their letters, diaries, and speeches and compare with women's goals and motivations in today's society.

    · Rewrite a section from a history textbook to include the accomplishments of women they feel should have been included in that particular historical era.

    · Read and discuss excerpts from They Fought Like Demons to establish the motivations and roles of female soldiers in the Civil War to use as a springboard for how women's roles in the military have changed over time.


    1. The student will create a women's newspaper utilizing Publisher to highlight important women, and key historical & societal events in a self-selected decade in the 20th century.

    2. The student will write and illustrate children's books detailing the historical rise of women in America including characters representative of the “New Woman,” the Suffragette, Rosie the Riveter, among others.

    Objective 3: The student will be able to analyze the goals, successes and failures that American women faced on the road to suffrage. (6.1.12.A.4, 6.1.12.A.6, 6.1.12.D.6, 6.1.12.C.7, 6.1.12.C.8, 6.2.12.D.5)

    Suggested Activities: · Compare and contrast the primary sources the “Declaration of Independence” and the “Declaration of Sentiments” to determine women's goals and desires in regards to the early women's suffrage. · View “Iron Jawed Angels” to illustrate the hurdles and struggles women endured on the road to suffrage. · Analyze primary sources that reveal both sides of the suffrage debate during the early 20th century in a written essay. · Re-enact a short play about Alice Paul dramatizing her role in the fight for women's suffrage. · Visit the Alice Paul Homestead Museum in Moorestown, New Jersey to illustrate how a local woman was the key impetus behind the 19th amendment.

    · Explore the goals and objectives of the suffrage movement by acting out a brief play about Alice Paul entitled “We Want to Vote.”

    · Reenact the trial of US v. Susan B. Anthony to determine to what lengths women would go to gain voting rights.

    · Analyze primary sources written by prominent abolitionists to determine the connection between abolitionism and the fight for suffrage in a class discussion.

    · Create a timeline to summarize the main events leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment.


    1. The student will compose a written petition to President Wilson persuading him of the reasons why women have earned the right to vote. 2. The student will write a letter to a future son/daughter describing the hardships women endured in the struggle for suffrage and relay to them the importance of women voting in today's politically apathetic society.

    Topic: Gender Violence in America

    Objective4: The student will be able to identify the various factors that contribute to date rape & learn realistic strategies for how to protect themselves. (6.1.12.D.13, 6.3.12.D.1)

    Suggested Activities:

    · List the warning signs or behaviors that may identify someone as a likely attacker or a likely victim after reviewing various articles on this subject.

    · Collaborate with psychology students to analyze the definition of acquaintance rape, the psychological repercussions of acquaintance rape, the effects of date rape drugs on the body, and why some believe that Americans live in a “rape supportive culture.”

    · Read opposing viewpoints in Violence against Women to determine if the incidence of date rape has been exaggerated.

    · Role-play through skits various situational scenarios and propose realistic solutions for how to deal with these various situations.

    · Read excerpts from Speak, and discuss the roles of peer pressure, intimidation, and relational aggression in acquaintance rape.


    1. The student will create a computer-generated tri-fold brochure highlighting the causes and risk factors that lead to date rape.

    2. The student will create a list of common “what if” scenarios surrounding date rape and propose realistic solutions for how to plan ahead to avoid them.

    Objective5: The student will be able to summarize the cycle of violence, the causes and signs of domestic violence & teen dating violence and explore various avenues for self-help & aid in the reduction of domestic violence at the local level. (6.3.12.D.1)

    Suggested Activities: · Read excerpts fromViolence Against Women to examine the severity of domestic violence in today's society and to assess how upper-class domestic violence victims vary from those of other social classes. · Listen to a guest speaker from a woman's shelter, such as Providence House, a family law practice and/or the school's resource officer discuss the cycle of violence and the causes of domestic violence. · Collect and donate necessary household items for Providence House to aid women suffering from domestic violence achieve economic independence. · View first-hand interviews in the “Abusive Relationships” video to conclude what causes domestic violence, how the cycle of violence occurs & how difficult it is for victims to break the cycle.

    · Create and perform skits which illustrate the difference between healthy and unhealthy dating behaviors.

    · Read various proposals in Violence Against Women for how to reduce violence against women and men & form an argument as to which proposed idea would be most effective in combating violence in society.

    · Listen to the SAC guest speak on how substance abuse and abusive relationships go hand-in-hand.

    Assessments: 1. The student will utilize media center databases, write a research paper on New Jersey laws, various violence definitions and punishments for domestic & teen dating violence.

    2. The student will design a tri-fold brochure that educates others on the causes, warning signals and resources available to victims of domestic violence.

    3. The student will create public service announcements utilizing I-Movie in order to educate others on the topic of domestic violence.

    Topic: Legal & Social Issues

    Objective6: The student will be able to verbalize and support their opinion on various reproductive issues and the stem cell research debate. (6.1.12.A.13, 6.1.12.A.14, 6.3.12.D.1)

    Suggested Activities: · Verbalize opinions on a variety of reproductive issues during a “take a stand” activity in class after reading selections in Opposing Viewpoints: Abortion. · Summarize the main components of Roe. V. Wade by reading the Supreme Court decision and breaking down the trimester system that was established as a result of this ruling.

    · Explore the possible medical and psychological issues that may stem from abortion through Opposing Viewpoints: Abortion.

    · Examine arguments for and against the availability of Plan B and its effect on women and American society.

    · Create and participate in a “Plan B” Conference discussion after examining the debate at the F.D.A.

    · Analyze statistics to formulate a typical profile for pro-life and pro-choice advocates.

    · Research the adoption process and its psychological effects on both child and mother.

    · Research and discuss current news articles to determine if Roe v. Wade has the potential to be overturned.

    · View several short videos from http://www.msnbc.com/and http://www.teachersdomain.org/to define what stem cells are, the difference between adult & embryonic stem cells and the debate over the usage of embryonic stem cells for research.


    1. The student will compose a “letter to the editor” stating & supporting your opinions on stem cell research, abortion, adoption, Plan B & RU-486.

    2. The student will prepare and participate in a formal debate on one or more of the following issues: stem cell research, abortion, adoption, Plan B and RU-486.

    Objective 7:The student will be able to analyze Title IX and judge whether it is still a necessary federal law in today's society. (6.1.12.A.14, 6.3.12.D.1)

    Suggested Activities:

    · Summarize the main components of Title IX & possible discrimination in athletics by examining various fictional scenarios from www.nytimes.comdaily lesson plan “From Basketball Court to Supreme Court.”

    · Examine recent Supreme Court rulings that have altered Title IX from its original form.

    · View relevant current news clips on www.msnbc.comthat relate to equity in education or athletics as they pertain to Title IX.

    · Debate whether Title IX is harmful to males, particularly college athletic programs.

    · Interpret statistics involving Title IX to determine its impact on females in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

    · Listen to a guest speaker, such as the school's affirmative action officer; discuss Title IX and how it impacts both athletics and academics.


    1. The student will interview a parent or grandparent that was in high school prior to the passage of Title IX to determine if Title IX has changed the educational landscape & is still needed in today.

    2. The student will compose an essay with the theme; “Breathing Life into a Concept,” to illustrate the purpose of Title IX and support whether its existence is relevant in current society.

    3. The student will research gender issues in sports, compose five polling questions and conduct the polls to aid in writing summary articles about whether Title IX is still a necessity in today's society.

    Objective 8: The student will be able to define sexual harassment, classify whether certain actions constitute sexual harassment and identify how they should handle various situational scenarios. (6.1.12.A.14, 6.1.12.D.14, 6.3.12.D.1)

    Suggested Activities: · Define sexual harassment and discuss what actions would constitute it by analyzing various situational scenarios.

    · Debate whether the incidence of sexual harassment has been exaggerated by reading Opposing Viewpoints: Working Women.

    · View selected segments of “North Country” to illustrate how sexual harassment on the job has been a historic problem, especially in non-traditional occupations.

    · Listen to a guest speaker (such as the school's affirmative action officer) and discuss the school's policy for sexual harassment.

    · Examine the primary source testimonies of Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill to determine how this issue came to the forefront in American society in the early 1990's.

    Assessments: 1. The student will create an informational pamphlet that highlights the definition and causes of sexual harassment and provides solutions for how to handle it.

    2. The student will create “He said, She said” storyboards depicting how various actions can be interpreted by various individuals and illustrate how these situations should be handled legally.

    Topic: Contemporary American Women

    Objective 9: The student will be able to define and understand the complexities behind the glass ceiling and discuss reasons why men and women are not paid equal wages in today's society. (6.1.12.D.14)

    Suggested Activities: · Listen to a guest speaker, such as a female superintendent at the high school level; discuss how she shattered the glass ceiling. · Utilizing Newsweek's yearly issue “Women in Power,” share with the class how one female was able to break through the glass ceiling in her field of expertise. · View the website http://www.money.cnn.com/to compare and contrast the current top 25 men's and top 25 women's corporate salaries in America.

    · Create graphs based on research illustrating top male and female dominated professions and the average wages for these professions.

    · Discuss articles with varying points of view regarding women balancing career and family.

    · Participate in “take a stand” on societal stereotypes i.e. time working moms, stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home dads, and career women without children.

    · Discuss whether women are victims of discrimination in the workplace by reading and discussing selections in Opposing Viewpoints: Working Women.

    Assessments: 1. The student will create a resume for a woman who has broken through the glass ceiling such as Hillary Clinton.

    2. The student will compare and contrast a top female and top male CEO's salaries, backgrounds and job titles.

    3. The student will develop a personal written plan to reach the highest levels of success in a prospective future career.

    4. The student will create an American Women's Hall of Fame Museum with visual and written displays which highlight women who have broken through the glass ceiling.

    5. The student will research and debate the question, “Does the glass ceiling still exist?” in partners or groups.

    Topic: American Women & the Media

    Objective 10: The student will be able to analyze societal messages sent to American women and men through the media. (6.1.12.D.16, 6.2.12.D.5, 6.3.12.D.1)

    Suggested Activities: · Locate and analyze positive and negative media advertisements to determine the messages that are being sent to men and women in society. · Analyze the propaganda techniques advertising uses to target men, women and teens.

    · View Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty website to illustrate how women and men in the media are altered to appear perfectly.

    · View “Killing Us Softly 3” to raise awareness of today's media messages and how they impact men and women's views of themselves and gender roles.

    · Analyze ads over several decades to establish how media messages have changed over time.

    · Debate whether the growing number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery is a positive or negative outcome of media messages of perfection.


    1. The student will create a collage of negative ads and/or positive ads in the media and analyze what message they are sending to today's youth.

    2. The student will generate a letter to the editor of a magazine either praising or criticizing ads they found to be particularly positive or negative.

    3. The student will produce a positive ad for women and/or men for a magazine or television.

    4. The student will construct a written essay which analyzes the images and messages in women's and men's magazines and draws parallels between the magazines and society's overall gender expectations and biases.

    Objective 11: The student will be able to evaluate the causes and effects of various eating disorders and formulate ideas and strategies for developing and maintaining positive body image. (6.1.12.A.14, 6.1.12.D.16, 6.2.12.D.5, 6.3.12.D.1)

    Suggested Activities:

    · Define anorexia, bulimia and obesity & identify what classifies each as an eating disorders.

    · Analyze articles that discuss compulsive overeating and its psychological roots and treatments.

    · Read and discuss selected excerpts from No Body's Perfect to encourage students to have a more positive body image.

    · Read and discuss extensive sections of the book, Hunger Pains, to determine the causes and effects of eating disorders and learning positive ways to prevent and deal with them.

    · View and discuss excerpts of Dying to be Thin available at http://www.pbs.org/.


    1. The student will write an editorial to a newspaper or magazine arguing how the media contributes to eating disorders and argues ways in which the media can help promote a positive body image.

    2. The student will create a collage that illustrates the causes, characteristics and treatments for various eating disorders and depicts how to maintain a healthy self-image.

    3. The student will participate in a panel discussion that examines the causes and effects of eating disorders and identifies methods for how teens can create and maintain a positive body image.

    Content Outline/Timeline

    1. Gender Roles 2-3 weeks

    · Gender Identity

    · Nature vs. Nurture

    · Gender stereotyping

    · Gender roles

    · Stay at Home Dads

    · Full time working moms/Stay at home moms

    · Perceptions of the other sex

    · Cultural & societal messages

    2. Historical Overview 2-3 weeks

    · The New Woman in World War I and the Roaring 20's

    · The Struggle for Women's Suffrage

    · Pitching in during the Great Depression and World War II

    · The Feminine Mystique (1945-1965)

    · Modern American Woman (1965-present)

    3. Gender Violence 3-4 weeks

    · Characteristics of an abusive relationship

    · Causes and prevention of date rape

    · Domestic Violence against men and women

    · Role of Alcohol, Drugs & Self-Esteem

    · Community Outreach-Providence House

    · Guest Speaker(s) on dating & domestic violence

    4. Legal & Social Issues 5-6 weeks

    · Roe v. Wade/Abortion

    · Parental Notification

    · Plan B (Morning After Pill)

    · RU-486

    · Adult and Embryonic Stem Cell Research

    · History and implementation of Title IX

    · Sexual Harassment in the workforce/schools

    5. Contemporary American Women 2-3 weeks

    · Notable women in politics, media, athletics, etc.

    · Top American Women executives

    · Male vs. female earnings

    · Equal Pay

    · Wage Earning Gap

    · Glass Ceiling/Guest Speaker(s)

    · Career Choices

    6. Women's Image & the role of Media 2-3 weeks

    · Body Image formation

    · Societal messages

    · Advertisement analysis

    · American cultural “ideal”

    · Disordered Eating

    · Self Esteem

    · Positive Body Image


    Proof of Proficiency

    Any student who wishes to demonstrate proficiency in the course American Women must complete four essays and a research paper.