Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Education and Training

    Course : Human Growth and Development

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (9) The student understands the development of adults ages 40 through 65 years. The student is expected to:
      • (A) analyze various development theories relating to middle adults, including biological and cognitive development
      • (B) analyze various development theories relating to middle adults, including emotional, moral, and psychosocial development
      • (C) discuss the influences of society and culture on middle adults
      • (D) discuss the importance of family, human relationships, and social interaction for middle adults
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • understand the physical changes that occur during middle adulthood
    • explain the main factors affecting a person’s intellectual development in middle adulthood
    • list and describe some of the influences of society and culture in middle adulthood, such as job choices, cultural shifts and public opinion
    • describe ways that family and other relationships impact middle adulthood
  • Rationale

    Script:

    What and who is middle-aged? Adults 40 through 65 years old are considered middle-aged. Emotional development for middle-age is generally centered around new family roles as children begin to establish their independence. Some couples enjoy a second honeymoon period or “empty nest syndrome” in which they rediscover their relationships. Middle-aged adults can promote and guide the next generation by parenting, teaching, leading and doing things that benefit the community.

    Let’s explore development in middle adulthood. I think you’ll come away with some new and interesting ideas.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Four 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Boomerang Children: Grown children who leave home but return later to live at home due to economics, family disturbances, desire to continue education or simply an inability to live successfully on their own

    Crystallized Intelligence: Demonstrates the cumulative effect of culture and learning of task performance and is measured by tests of verbal ability and cultural knowledge

    Fluid Intelligence: Depends on the proper functioning of the nervous system and is measured by tasks that show age-related declines (speeded tasks, tests of reaction time)

    Middle-Aged: Persons between the ages of 40 and 65

    Sandwich Generation: Persons who are caring for people in the two (or three) generations around them, such as caring for elderly parents and children or grandchildren

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed

    Equipment:

    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • Internet connection and computer access for students (Be sure to follow district guidelines for Internet access)
    • presenter remote

    Materials:

    • analog watch
    • cassette tape (substitutions can be made as appropriate)
    • Memory Games (optional) at http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/brain_games.html
    • note cards
    • old game systems
    • paper and pens
    • pictures of celebrities (adults 40 through 65 years)
    • pictures of other community members (adults 40 through 65 years)
    • Rolodex business card file
    • rotary dial phone
    • transistor radio
    • typewriter
    • VHS tape

    Supplies:

    • colored index cards (two colors)

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Prior to class:

    Display as many of the lesson-related supplies (see Materials or Specialized Equipment Needed) as you have available on a table in front of the room.

    Become familiar with PowerPoints™, handouts and activities.

    This lesson is divided into three mini-lessons to make it easier to present the information on multiple days. By distributing the information into mini-lessons, it will be easier for students to understand it.

    Part I: Theories and Physical Development
    Part II: Cognitive and Societal Changes
    Part III: Family and Social Relationships

    Refer to lesson: A Look at Theories: Part II for additional resources and activities at
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/a-look-at-theories-part-ii/

    Before class begins:

    Below are five anticipatory set activities to use throughout the lesson. Prior to beginning this lesson, please review, preview and select the appropriate activity.

    • As students come in and class begins, ask them:
      • What is a middle-aged adult? What are some characteristics of middle adulthood?
      • How many of you have parents age 40-65?
      • How have your middle-aged parents changed from the time they were 20 years old? 30 years old?
      • How is middle-age today different than in past generations?
      • How do you think you will experience middle-age differently from your parents or grandparents?
    • As students enter the room, have the following YouTube video playing. No sound is required.
      Progression
      Best Time-lapse video shows little girl growing into an old woman.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzskiJxcGT8GT
      After the students view the video and class begins, ask them:
      • How did this video make you feel?
      • Discuss four ways in which the girl changed as she aged.
      • How is she changing emotionally and socially as she is aging?
    • Have students discuss the following statement:
      The one thing I hope I never forget as I get older is ______________________________________.
    • Prior to class, set up a table with the actual objects (or pictures) of the following: rotary dial phone, analog watch, Rolodex business card file, transistor radio, VHS tape, cassette tape and so forth. (Substitutions can be made as appropriate.) Students will list the objects and their use. They will then describe the object(s) that have replaced them.
    • Write these two terms on the board: Sandwich Generation and Boomerang Children. Students will write their definitions to be shared during class. Allow for questions and discussion.

    Distribute graphic organizer KWHL Chart – Developments in Middle Adulthood (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Ask students to complete the chart by answering the first three sections:

    K – What I know about middle adulthood.
    W – What I want to learn about middle adulthood.
    H – How can I learn more about middle adulthood?

    The last section will be completed in the Lesson Closure.

    Lead students to share and discuss their responses.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Note to teacher: Prior to beginning this lesson, please review, preview and select the appropriate multimedia for your classes.

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute handout Double-Entry Journal Notes (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes while viewing the slide presentation. Teacher will determine the notes to be recorded by students.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood Adulthood Part I: Theories and Physical Development, slides 3-10 (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    Use appropriate notes from Presentation Notes for Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood (see All Lesson Attachments tab) for discussion.

    See Guided Practice Activity One

    Continue with the slide presentation Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood Part II: Cognitive and Societal Changes, slides 11-22 (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Have students continue using Double-Entry Journal Notes for note-taking.

    Use appropriate notes from Presentation Notes for Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood (see All Lesson Attachments tab) for discussion.

    Think about the middle-aged adults in your life. How has your childhood been different from theirs? What cultural and societal norms or expectations are different?

    See Guided Practice Activity Two

    Continue with the slide presentation Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood Part III: Family and Social Relationships, slides 22-28 (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Have students continue using Double-Entry Journal Notes for note-taking.

    Use appropriate notes from Presentation Notes for Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood (see All Lesson Attachments tab) for discussion.

    See Guided Practice Activity Three

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Guided Practice Activity One

    Teacher will bring pictures of several celebrities who are 55 – 65 years of age. Begin a class discussion on aging by asking students to guess the ages of the celebrities. With permission, the teacher may also bring pictures of other persons working in the school or community. Distribute How Old Do You Think I Am? (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout for the students to complete as they view the pictures.

    Distribute Memory: How Good is Yours? (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout so the students can practice their memory skills.

    Memory loss is of great concern during middle adulthood. What are some ways to mitigate that loss? Have students practice their memory skills at:

    American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
    Free Online Brain Games
    http://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/brain_games.html

    Guided Practice Activity Two

    The rapid changes in technology and the way the job market operates now are two of the societal changes that impact families. Randomly pass out two different colors of index cards. Each student will receive one index card. Everyone who draws card color #1 will illustrate technological changes. Everyone who draws card color #2 will illustrate changes in the job market. Distribute Jobs and Technology (see All Lesson Attachments tab) graphic organizer for note-taking. As people are sharing in class, students will complete the graphic organizer.

    Distribute How Things Have Changed: The Impact of Technology (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Have students create a list of objects and describe how technology has replaced or changed this object.

    Allow for questions and discussion.

    Guided Practice Activity Three

    If you are living in a sandwich generation household, how do you balance your family, career and caring for an older adult? Distribute The Sandwich Generation (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Have students describe in detail the burdens and responsibilities of middle-aged individuals.
    Allow for questions and discussion.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Students will work on activities included in Guided Practice One, Two and Three.

    Lead students to share and discuss their responses. Check for understanding.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback

  • Lesson Closure

    Students will complete the KWHL Chart – Developments in Middle Adulthood (see All Lesson Attachments tab) section labeled L.

    L – What did I learn about middle adulthood?

    Ask the students the following questions:

    • Share one thing you learned about physical theories in middle adulthood.
    • Share one thing you learned about cognitive changes in middle adulthood.
    • Share one thing you learned about the impact of changes in society on middle-aged people in our society.
    • Share one thing you learned about the importance of relationships with family and friends in middle adulthood.
  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Assessments during lesson:

    Jobs and Technology
    How Things Have Changed: The Impact of Technology
    The Sandwich Generation
    KWHL Chart – Developments in Middle Adulthood

    Reflection: Using the information gathered in Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood, students will write a one-page summary analyzing their information on theories, physical development, societal changes and relationships. Students will reflect on how they plan to use this activity and information now and in the future. The reflection and handouts will be submitted for assessment.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • providing extra time for oral response
    • frequent feedback

  • References/Resources

    Images:

    Microsoft Clip Art: Used with permission from Microsoft.

    Journals:

    • Levinson, D. (1986). A conception of adult development. American Psychologist. Vol. 41, No. 1, 3-13. January.

    Textbooks:

    • Dacey, J. , Travers, J. and Fiore, L. (2009). Human development across the lifespan. (7th). Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill
    • Santrock, J. (1997). Life-span development. (6th). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
    • Welch, K. (2012). Family life now. 2nd. New York, NY: Allyn & Bacon.

    Websites:

    YouTube™:

    • The Sandwich Generation The Sandwich Generation, those caught between their aging parents and young children, includes some 20 million Americans.
      http://youtu.be/YhXrHD7qWDk8k0
    • Technology Timeline; 1920s to Present
      From The Invention of Television to the Advent of Advertising, From the First Computers to the Internet… the Convergence of Turning Television into Computers. This is a 20 minute video.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXewcY6l_VA
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website http://www.achievetexas.org/index.html provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:
    http://www.achievetexas.org/Career%20Cluster%20Crosswalks.htm

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Current Events:
    Assign students to read about middle adulthood. Information can be found in newspaper articles, magazines, journals and online print.
    Suggestions:

    Encourage students to “make predictions” about the text content prior to reading. “I think it’s going to be about… because I know (I heard) …” This encourages active reading and keeps students interested. While reading, the students may revise their original predictions and/or make new ones.

  • Quotes

    Middle-age is when your age starts to show around the middle.
    -Bob Hope

    The old believe everything. The middle-aged suspect everything. The young know everything.
    -Oscar Wilde

    Almost all of my middle-aged and elderly acquaintances, including me, feel about 25, unless we haven’t had our coffee, in which case we feel 107.
    -Martha Beck

    I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.
    -Francis Bacon

    You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.
    -George Burns

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies

    Power Point™:

    • Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood
    • Presentation Notes for Life in the Middle: Understanding Development in Middle Adulthood

    Technology:

    TED Talks:

    • Laura Carstensen: Older people are happier
      In the 20th century we added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans, but is the quality of life as good? Surprisingly, yes! At TEDxWomen psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.
      http://www.ted.com/talks/laura_carstensen_older_people_are_happier

    YouTube™:

    • Sandwich Generation: Caring For Aging Parents and Children
      The Boomer Report: Many Baby Boomers are sandwiched between caring for aging parents and children (often grown!) at the same time, they’re called The Sandwich Generation. Tips on finding help in this report.
      http://youtu.be/Z7KfW-yC8k0
    • Technology Timeline; 1920s to Present
      From The Invention of Television to the Advent of Advertising, From the First Computers to the Internet… the Convergence of Turning Television into Computers. This is a 20 minute video.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXewcY6l_VA

    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic organizers:

    • Double-Entry Journal Notes
    • KWHL Chart – Developments in Middle Adulthood

    Handouts:

    • Filmstrip Sequencing Activity
    • How Old Do You Think I Am?
    • How Things Have Changed: The Impact of Technology
    • Imagine Who Your Friends Will Be
    • Interview of Family Situations
    • Jobs and Technology
    • Memory: How Good is Yours?
    • The Sandwich Generation
    • The Sandwich Generation (Key)

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • Reflect in student journals about the lesson concerning biological and intellectual development in middle adulthood. What concepts were new to you? How will these new concepts impact your relationship with the middle-aged people in your life?
    • Distribute Imagine Who Your Friends Will Be (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout. Students will imagine and write who their friends will be and what they will enjoy doing in the future. Have them think in terms of where they will meet their friends and who they will have something in common with, not using actual names.

    Writing Strategy:

    • Distribute Filmstrip Sequencing Activity (see All Lesson Attachments tab) handout.

    Develop a comic strip about a comedic incident which occurred in your family depicting specific middle-aged roles or situations. Some of the most famous comics are about everyday things!
    Here are some basic steps to follow to make your own comic strip.
    1. Write the script. This helps you know how many panels you need. The number of panels you need depends on what you want to say.
    2. Draw a rough draft of the whole comic strip. Just sketch in stick figures. This will help you know what should go in each panel.
    3. Redraw the comic strip on the final paper, but do it very lightly so you can erase. Lightly draw in the bubbles around the words so you’ll know how much space you’ll need.
    4. Once everything is lightly sketched how you want it, go back and make the marks dark so you can see them.
    5. Color your comic strip and share with classmates. Display comic strips in the classroom.

  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • When I am middle-aged, I will __________________________________.
    • The one thing I hope I never forget is _________________________________.
    • Which do you fear most: losing your physical capabilities or your mental capabilities? Why?
    • What are some tips to remember someone’s name?
    • The thing I like best about my grandparents (or some other older person in my life) is _____________________________________________.
    • Three jobs that have disappeared in the last 20 years due to technology advances and changes are ___________________________.
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    • Make copies of the note cards submitted by students. Have students chart the results according to category/type.
    • After comparing the cost of living from 1970 to the cost of living today, write about how “necessities” have changed since then. Are these things necessities? How do these things impact a family budget?
    • Create a game to assess the learning from this lesson.
    • Research one or more technologies that didn’t exist 40 years ago. Summarize how these technologies have changed family expectations. For instance, how have microwave ovens impacted the way that families eat?
    • Have students, in groups, do a dramatic interpretation of what they have learned in this class.
    • Allow students to use the Internet to look up information about three celebrities between the ages of 40 and 55. Have them describe whether or not the celebrities look (in their opinion) to be middle aged. Have them explain why. When all the students have completed their research, have them share out with the class.

    TED Talks:

    TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). The video below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the video and lead a discussion concerning the TED Talk.

    • Laura Carstensen: Older people are happier
      In the 20th century we added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans, but is the quality of life as good? Surprisingly, yes! At TEDxWomen psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.
      http://www.ted.com/talks/laura_carstensen_older_people_are_happier

  • Family/Community Connection

    • Students can volunteer to help middle-aged persons set up social media accounts.
    • Students can volunteer to assist with computer issues at an active adult community or senior center.
    • Interview someone who is involved in one of these three family situations: sandwich generation, boomerang children, or grandparents as parents. Include at least five questions about the challenges and rewards of the situation. Distribute Interview Common Family Situations in Middle Adulthood (see All Lesson Attachments tab) to use as a guide.
  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

    http://texasfccla.org

    • Illustrated Talk – An individual or team event – recognizes participants who make an oral presentation about issues concerning Family and Consumer Sciences and/or related occupations. Participants use visuals to illustrate content of the presentation.

    Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE)

    http://www.tafeonline.org/

    • Educational Leadership Fundamentals – This competition is an individual event that recognizes participates who take a 30-minute timed exam about knowledge of the teaching profession.
  • Service Learning Projects

    True service learning is developed with student voice about concerns and needs. As the students are learning and researching this topic, ask them to think about ways they can maximize their learning to benefit others.
    http://gsn.nylc.org/

    Allow students to brainstorm ways the lesson relates to service projects.
    Example: Students may wish to volunteer with a physical therapy unit or cognitive health unit.

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