Lesson 4: Women in Sports

Lesson Information

About this Lesson:

Though traditional gender norms dictate conventional behaviors for women, each woman navigates those expectations in her own way. The varying reactions of the community around her and their level of support or disapproval will likely factor into her future decisions and behaviors. By watching “Sport and Playing for Gold,” students will explore the ways in which female athletes throughout the Arab world negotiate social norms and expectations. Athletics is not necessarily a traditionally accepted field for women; in this show, students will see how different women balance the pursuit of their passions with social expectations of their gender. Some women may take precautions to maintain her socially expected feminine demeanor while others may discount the social pressures altogether. This episode of the Al Jazeera program Everywoman includes interviews not only with the athletes, but with their families, coaches, and other community members, showing the wide range of opinions that exist on the issue.

Time

50 minutes

In this lesson, students will:

  • watch “Sport and Playing for Gold,” an episode of Everywoman, a show on Aljazeera, aired on May 30, 2008.
  • write an essay answering one of the unit questions.


Enduring Understandings

  • Gender roles and relations in the Arab world are complex and vary based on demographics, geographic location, religious identity, ethnicity, socio-economic status and so forth.
  • Gender roles are dynamic and change depending on setting.
  • Traditional gender roles are negotiated and contested in a variety of ways.

Curriculum Framing Questions

  • How do individuals realize their gender and gender roles differently within the Arab world?

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify gender roles in different parts of the Arab world.
  • examine viewpoints about gender roles.

Assessment & Evaluation of Student Learning:

  • Engage in an active discussion about the roles women take on across the Arab world.


Curriculum Standards Information

Reading Informational Texts

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Writing

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

Reading: Informational Texts

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Writing

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

History / Social Studies

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

Standard 2.1: Students demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the culture studied

Implementation

Materials Needed in Class:

Sport and Playing for Gold Part 1
Sport and Playing for Gold Part 2
“Women in Sport and Playing for Gold”


Sport and Playing for Gold Questions and Note Sheet

Gender Unit Final Writing Assignment

Implementation Overview:

Click here to download PDF version

1.

Begin class by asking students:
  • How are people limited or privileged by their gender?
  • What are the expectations you and others hold for different genders?
  • How do you fit within or renegotiate the expectations for your gender?

2.

Introduce “Sport and Playing for Gold,” an episode of the Al-Jazeera show, Everywoman, that highlights five female athletes in the Arab world, each woman playing a different sport in a different country.  Teachers are encouraged to review the summary by AlJazeera, “Women in Sport and Playing for Gold.”

3.

Distribute Sport and Playing for Gold Questions and Note Sheet. Review the questions on the sheet and instruct students to take notes on each athlete as they watch the episode.

4.

Show the episode in segments. Stop after each woman’s story is presented and discuss the questions on the note sheet. Instruct students to use their notes to compare the athletes as you watch the show. Consider:
  • Similarities between the athletes
  • Differences between the athletes
  • What might be impacting those similarities and differences (geography, religion, social class, etc.)

Homework

To conclude the unit, instruct students to write an essay answering one of the Curriculum Framing Questions, found in the Gender Unit Final Writing Assignment. They should use examples to support their claims.

  • How does culture impact the parameters of gender roles?
  • What are the different ways that individuals negotiate gender roles within the Arab world?
  • How does gender impact one’s voice and agency in the Arab world?
  • What insights can Arab literature and film offer about gender roles in Arab culture and how individuals experience them?

It is recommended that you conduct and a concluding discussion of gender issues in the Arab world prior to distributing the writing assignment.

Supplemental Resources

Shadya (2007): This episode of Independent Lens tells the story of Shadya, a world champion in Karate, a feminist in a male-dominated culture, and a Muslim Arab living in Israel. Click here for the ITVs lesson plans