Does Birth Order Influence Personality?

This learning and evaluation situation contains the following documents:

Other Resources Available From the MELS for ESL Teachers

Many resources related to the new ESL programs are readily available to all ESL teachers in Québec. These resources include:

All resources can be downloaded from the following Web site:

The English version of Chapters 1 to 3 of the Programme de formation de l’école québécoise can also be downloaded from the following Web site:

Important Information

Does Birth Order Influence Personality? is the first learning and evaluation situation (LES) produced by the Ministère for the Secondary Cycle One Core ESL program. It is to be used in Secondary Cycle One as a tool to regulate learning. This LES is but one model of how to implement the Programme de formation de l'école québécoise (PFEQ) in your ESL classroom.

The focus of this LES is to regulate learning for Competency 1, Interacts orally in English and Competency 3, Writes and produces texts. Competency 2, Reinvests understanding of texts, is not being evaluated.

More than 25 teachers from various regions of Québec, in both the public and private sectors, field-tested this LES. These teachers met in focus groups and gave the authors valuable feedback and ideas.

What Is a Learning and Evaluation Situation (LES)?

Many terms have been used to describe a LES: learning situation, learning and evaluation situation, complex task, etc. Regardless of the term used, what matters is understanding the concept.

A LES includes the following elements:

About enabling activities
Enabling activities, such as language-focus activities (e.g. vocabulary-building activities, exercises on sentence structure) enable students to do something. Although these are great teaching tools, they should not be used to evaluate students’ competencies, as this should only be done when students are put in a competency situation, not in a series of decontextualized exercises.

Teacher's Role in Evaluating to Regulate Learning

This LES has been designed to regulate learning and assess the development of competencies in the course of learning (PFEQ, p. 10). Evaluating for regulation, i.e. to support learning, means that the teacher "regularly informs students about their strengths and weaknesses and offers appropriate enrichment and support measures."1 Students need to know what is expected of them and how they will be evaluated; be transparent with your students regarding your expectations and the evaluation criteria.

As students carry out the various tasks in this LES, you will need to observe them in action and provide feedback. You will be teaching, prompting and guiding students throughout the LES. It is important to record your observations using tools such as observation grids, rubrics and/or anecdotal notes. The evidence you collect will also be used to report on students' development of competencies for report cards and other forms of communication.

The tools included in the Teacher’s Resource Booklet are to be used to help you regulate your students’ learning in this LES. The evaluation criteria referred to in these evaluation tools are prescribed by the program. To fully understand what is meant by these criteria, refer to the focus, the key features and the end-of-cycle outcomes for each targeted competency (PFEQ, p. 204-209).

Notes About this Learning and Evaluation Situation


General Description

Students learn about the birth order theory and decide whether or not this theory has any validity. This LES should take about five hours to complete.

Educational Aims

By comparing the characteristics usually associated to their birth order with their own personality traits, students reflect on who they are and learn more about themselves, thus addressing a Broad Area of Learning and further developing a Cross-Curricular Competency. Finally, after testing the theory, they come to a conclusion regarding the question, Does Birth Order Influence Personality?

Broad Area of Learning

Personal and Career Planning (developing one’s potential, becoming aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses) Students reflect on their own personality characteristics in order to gain a better understanding of who they are.

Cross-Curricular Competency


ESL competency Evaluation criteria Evaluation tools Task
Competency 1,
orally in English
  1. Participation in oral interaction
  2. Articulation of the message
Anecdotal record, grid or rubric 5, 7, 8
Competency 3,
Writes and
produces texts
  1. Pertinence of the message
  2. Formulation of themessage
  3. Use of resources
Grid or rubric 10

Targeted Related Content

Functional Language Expressing an opinion, comparing, agreeing, disagreeing
Other Vocabulary Birth orders (oldest, first-born, etc.)
Personality characteristics (determined, likes to be the centre of attention, etc.)
Focus on Form Verb to be, comparatives
Strategy Infer (as a reading strategy to find the meaning of unknown vocabulary)

1.  Québec, Ministère de l’Éducation, Policy on the Evaluation of Learning (Québec: Gouvernement du Québec, 2003), p. 26.