Create Your Own Celebrity Ice Cream Flavor!

Ben & Jerrys is one of the premier ice cream companies in the United States. They are constantly producing new flavors inspired by celebrities and current events. Ben & Jerrys has managed to remain on the cusp of creativity for over 30 years. The objective of this lesson is to teach students how to create a business plan for a new, creative product.

Asteroids, Meteors, Meteorites, and Meteoroids! From Sci-Fi to Reality

In this lesson, students will learn to differentiate between asteroids, meteors, meteorites, and meteoroids, they will think about their definitions and representations in science and popular culture, and they will consider ways to go about further explaining these phenomena to an audience through a critical, creative-writing piece.

Storytelling With the Stars

In this lesson, students learn about the literary elements of plot and characterization using popular movies and celebrities as brainstorming prompts.

MLK and Malcolm X: The civil rights movement and the X-Men origins

The American Civil Rights movement inspired many people, including Marvel Comic’s mastermind writers Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. They have created some of the most powerful superheroes in the comic universe but did you know some of these characters were influenced by actual real life heroes in history? Lee and Kirby used the iconic civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X as the inspiration behind the characters Charles Xavier aka Professor X and Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto, the creators of the X-Men. Rather than fighting aliens and criminals, they fought against the oppression mutants faced on a daily basis in society, albeit by different methods. Much like MLK Jr. and Malcolm X, Professor X chose a non-violent approach and Magneto took more of a defensive stance against violent oppression and prejudice.

It’s presumed in comic book lore that Magneto is a villain but Stan Lee had a different perspective when he created the character. Stan Lee says about the metal warping mutant, “I did not think of Magneto as a bad guy. He was just trying to strike back at the people who were so bigoted and racist. He was trying to defend mutants, and because society was not treating them fairly, he decided to teach society a lesson. He was a danger of course, but I never thought of him as a villain.”

Even in the film adaptations of the X-Men series, Michael Fassbender who plays the role of Magento, admits the iconic figures were inspiration for their on-screen portrayals.
It came up early on in the rehearsal period and that was the path we took, says Michael Fassbender, These two brilliant minds coming together and their views arent that different on some key things. As you watch them you know that if their understanding, ability and intelligence could somehow come together it would be really special. But the split is what makes them even more interesting and tragic. The Hero Complex, LA Times

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Why Fairy Tale Reboots are a Necessary Part of Society

 

Fairy tale reboots are so in right now.  Cinderella’s in the theatres, Once Upon a Time had a strong last season, and Maleficent rocked the box office. Versions of all these stories have already been made. So why are we rebooting them? Is it a cynical cash grab by studios? Well, yes, partially. But it’s also something more.

Fairy tales are a way to communicate shared values. As our values change, so to must our touchstones that convey them.

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Magic Mirror by Greg Guillemin
The old versions of fairy tales just don’t work for people today. We don’t seem to find them entertaining, funny, inspiring, or relevant. Our culture has changed, and so our stories are changing as well.

This is not the first time that we have changed fairy tales. Disney itself became rich rebooting the dark German peasant tales of the Brothers Grimm into something light and fun for consumerist America, then rehashed them again with a spate of direct-to-video sequels in the 1990s. Now, Disney, and others, are again changing fairy tale characters to make them more relevant to society today. The changes to fairy tales show us many changes in how mainstream society views both the media and the world.

Why Do Fairy Tales Matter?

Fairy tales, or similar folklore, appear in most world cultures. Often, when they were written, they were not believed to be fiction. For example, the Brothers Grimm published “Hansel and Gretel in 1812, 66 years before the last real-life witchcraft trial in the United States was held in 1878. These fairy tales had real relevance to people who believed in witches, fairies, and other evil creatures. Now, few people believe, but fairy tales are still relevant. In fact, with the rise of fantasy literature, movies and TV shows, it’s clear that we are interested in magic almost as much as those ancestors who believed in it. Partially, this is because we still use fairy tales as what literary critics call “touchstones.” Touchstones are references that most people can understand, like the phrases “wicked stepmother” and “magic beans.” These touchstones carry a lot of meaning in a small package, and can be used for metaphors, morals, political speeches, and more. They are a way to communicate shared values and understandings. As our values change, how do we update our touchstones?

RLL Ep. 2 FB Card

The RLL Podcast: Ep. 2 – Deadpool, Star Wars, VR and The Art of Storytelling

 

RLL Podcast Cover Art iTunes

 

Abe and Tharaha are joined by special guests, New York Times notable Author Daniel Jose Older and Teacher extraordinaire Maeve Gavagan to discuss storytelling in the 21st century. We explore the advances in storytelling through different mediums such as print, television, film, video games, virtual reality, social media and even live theatrical experiences. Tharaha lets us know about the newly featured content on NuSkool.com including the teachable moments found in the Deadpool and Star Wars films.

Ep. 2 – Show Notes:

Check out all of the great work mentioned in this episode:

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Mama Day by Gloria Naylor

Junot Diaz

Hamilton on Broadway

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Nueromancer by William Gibson

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Sleep No More

Ernest Hemingway’s Six Word Novel

The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

The Art of Storytelling

The objective of this lesson plan is to engage students in the art of storytelling and improve their public speaking skills.

Story Basics: How to Create Your Own Storyboard for Pixar

The objective of this lesson is to have students create their own storyboard based on their own proposed idea for a Pixar film.
Storytelling is an art and is more difficult than it may seem.
A story must include 5 key elements – a beginning introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and finally, the conclusion.

“I AM” Here for Newtown

In this lesson students will create “I AM” poems that will help them explore their feelings about the shootings that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut.

Traditionally, an I AM poem is an 18-line, three-stanza poem which students write about themselves, a real or fictitious character. These particular I AM poems include prompts that specifically address coping as well as helping the student understand how their own thoughts and lives can be supportive towards the lives of others.