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Birth Order

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The order in which a person is born profoundly affects development. It leaves an indelible impression which influences how the individual deals with love, friendship, and career, just to name a few examples. The number of siblings, and their years apart, also play roles in a person's makeup. It's often said that first-borns tend to be more conservative, as well as focus on achievement. They scored higher in IQ tests too. The youngest sibling tends towards rebelliousness.

Quite a number of psychologists view birth order and its effects on personality as utter hogwash. The number of variables that constitute experience, and thereby shape an individual, cannot be so simplified. Tests, and their results, have been weak and inconclusive.


Preview the lesson material: 

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. Do you come from a big or small family? Talk about your family with a partner.

Comprehension Questions: Answer the questions before/after your read the article.

  1. What cannot be said of birth order?
               a. it affects personality
               b. it's disputed
               c. younger siblings may not be as smart as a first-born brother or sister.
               d. older siblings think work is more important than love
  2. What would be the best title for this article? Why do you think so?
               a. "Birth Order: A Bunch of Hogwash"
               b. "Birth Order: Forever Marked"
               c. "Are You the Youngest or Oldest Sibling?"
               d. "How Siblings Affect Birth Order"

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. What do you think about the idea of birth order and its effects on personality?
  2. From the information presented in the article, do your siblings fit the descriptions?
  3. Which is more important on a person's development, nature or nurture? Why?

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