Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An elementary schooler's ideal future husband and wife

This week my Fly High Junior class (a fairly advanced class for 4-6th graders) read a story about "love at first sight". I asked them if they believed in love at first sight and all the girls agreed that it was completely possible, while the boys looked a bit sceptical. The next task was to create a list of things that you look for in a boyfriend/girlfriend, though I expanded it to friend too since some of them are still young and not really thinking of the opposite sex yet (or not admittedly thinking of the opposite sex). We did some brainstorming on the board about physical appearance and personality traits, and then I asked them to choose the top four Important Traits and top four Not Important Traits in a friend or boy/girlfriend.

Some of the answers were interesting. One girl said she didn't want to be friends with anyone with small eyes, because really small eyes scared her. One boy listed handsome as a "Very Important" trait in a male friend. The same boy also said that weight was unimportant, so I asked him if it was ok to be friends with someone who is 100kg (220lbs) and he said that he wasn't ok with that...

Then I asked them to get into groups. All the girls together, and all the boys together. They needed to think up the top four traits of a future husband or wife. Of course, they are young and haven't started dating, which is why I found this so interesting, because it's totally unadulterated by experience. It really shows what their outside influences have impressed upon them as important traits. I let them choose either physical or personality traits.

The first one the girls came up with was handsome, of course. They said height was important, so I asked them to be more specific and they said no shorter than 180cm (5'10"). They also said that weight was important, but they couldn't come up with any numbers for that one.

I was surprised that one of the boys (both of whom are only in 4th grade) said "positive" as an ideal trait right from the start. Then they started to do some more brainstorming and they came up with some ideal heights and weights for their future wives. The two boys had slightly different ideas about ideal weights, but I told them that was ok because I was so interested in what they would come up with. One boy, the one that said a positive personality was important, also said that 50kg (110lbs) was the maximum weight for his future wife. The other boy was a little more forgiving, and said that the weight range for his future wife would be 53-63kg (116-139lbs). Of course, keep in mind that we're in Asia, and on average, women here are considerably smaller than westerners in all ways. Then the boys gave me a height. She could be no shorter than (or was it taller than? They were getting a bit confused) 175cm (5'8").

I really liked this exercise. If I have time, I might try it with my middle school girl class. I really like the answers they come up with.


  1. lol, small eyes scare me, lol

  2. Ha, that's a great exercise! I'm gonna have to try to find an excuse to use that with my 4th graders...