During my first lab at St. Mary’s my group and I were assigned to the group of children in the cafeteria. I sat down next to two children that were playing a game that I had never seen before. The children were Jill and Bob and they explained to me that the game they were playing was called mancala. Their social skills were well adapted and I was able to see that they were in either fourth or fifth grade. They both explained the rules to the game to me and were very excited to show me how to play. After playing mancala, we eventually migrated up into the upstairs gym. I then observed both Jill and Bob as they were playing through the games that we assigned for them. Their motor skills seemed to be very much a like one another’s and I noticed that their gender difference had no effect in their motor skills. When I was having a catch with one of the children in the fourth grade, Steve, I noticed that his ability was at a high range and he had the full throwing motion of stepping, releasing, and following through. Bob also had a catch with me and Steve and I realized that Bob’s initial step was inconsistent along with his follow through (completing the rainbow), which showed that Bob was at a higher level of ability. I believe that the grade level and ability have an influence on motor behavior within this age group but not gender. I believe that gender doesn’t really play a role because the children haven’t reached puberty yet and there isn’t a distinct advantage of one gender over the other in motor behavior, such as when the boys reach puberty and obtain more strength do to testosterone. I think that grade level has a influence on motor behavior because the higher level grade children are physically and mentally more developed than the younger kids. Ability is a key factor in motor behavior because the children are all at different ability levels due to the fact that every child is different, in which they develop differently or if they have the advantage of participating in activities that the others aren’t.
During my observation I observed the fine motor activities of throwing a ball, shooting a basketball, and running. As I described before, Bob was at a high level of ability in throwing a ball and Steve was at a lower level of ability. These two children were the same grade level but as I observed one had a higher level of ability than the other did. When I was playing horse in basketball with Bob I realized that his shooting ability was lower than of other students there. As Bob shot the basketball he used both hands to push off the ball causing an erratic spin on the ball. Bob also didn’t have any follow through in his shooting action. As I was playing with Bob I noticed one of the girl students that was also shooting the basketball. She seemed to be at a higher level of ability because she had a good motion of shooting the ball and following through with the shot. I don’t believe gender differences had anything to do with the difference in these two students but I do believe that the girl was older than Bob in which she was more developed (taller) and also the girl had a high level of ability for that motor skill. When the students were playing tag games I noticed that the older kids were more agile and had more fluent motion in their running patterns. There was no noticeable difference for the gender aspect of the students running abilities.