Lens Game

At this point in the unit, students have read primary sources (in my case, data papers on what heterosexual women find attractive) and a theory paper (in my case, a paper that explores the evolutionary roots of female attraction).

Before class, print out 9 images, 2 copies of each image (total 18 pages).

  • The images should relate to your topic.
  • For example, for my Darwinian Dating course, I print out nine pairs of pictures of men demonstrating elements of what heterosexual females tend to find attractive.
  • Print out an extra copy of one of the photos so that if you have an odd number of students you can adjust the pictures to have one trio.
  • Fold the papers in half.

In class, hand out the pictures, with instructions NOT to look at the pages. When everyone has their image, students stand up and hold the photos above their heads so that only others can see them. Students then have to find their match.

The lens element: students can ONLY describe their picture through the lens of the theory paper. They cannot use non-analytical physical descriptions.

For example, for image A, a student can’t say that the image is a man and a baby. Instead, the student would say, the picture shows male investment in reproduction, male generosity, male commitment to parenthood, etc.

Black and white photo of man cradling a newborn baby

On the other hand, for this image, students would say that the man shows high access to resources, strong genetics and immune system, etc. 

Photo of a healthy, well-groomed, middle-aged man standing in suit and tie and wearing an expensive-looking watch