Lights, Camera, Action!: How to Create Your Own Campaign Video

This November, citizens of the United States will be given the privilege to vote for the next American president. Politicians hire consulting firms, and campaign management companies to help them develop the most affective strategic plan in order to get them elected.

The objective of this lesson is to teach students about campaign management.

“Old Skool” Video Game Design

Students will compare an old school video game to geometric transformations, and then design their own video game graphic using reflections, translations, and rotations.

Ratchet, Finna, and YOLO: An Introduction to Linguistics through Hip Hop Slang

In this activity, students will be introduced to linguistics by examining the definitions and origins of various hip hop slang. They will discuss how and why these words originated to define concepts not previously conveyed in the English language. Students should analyze the aspects of hip hop culture that made these words necessary. This analysis will help them understand that language is a direct result of culture. They will then use this understanding to study a non-English word and culture of their choice. The word they choose should not be directly translatable in English. Through a brief in-class presentation, students will define their chosen word, discuss its origin (or etymology), and analyze the aspects of its cultural context that required it to exist.

The Hubris of Hip Hop

In this lesson, students will gain an understanding of hubris by examining its prevalence in hip hop culture. Students will pick a hip hop star and analyze her/his work, style, and public displays of grandiose behavior as a means to understand the term. In a 3-4 page essay, they will then compare their artist’s acts of hubris to a those of a literary character.

Note to teachers: Hubris is originally seen in Greek mythology when a mortal thinks he is better than the gods. This lesson would be particularly applicable when your class is doing a unit on mythology or reading The Odyssey, Mythology, or any books from the Oedipus Trilogy. This does not mean, however, that hubris is limited to mythology. This lesson plan would also be useful in understanding Shakespearean works as he regularly includes hubristic characters in his plays. This theme can also be used to analyze any text in which a character’s extreme pride and arrogance ultimately leads to her/his downfall.

The Role of Social Media During the Boston Marathon Bombings

The objective of this lesson is for students to evaluate the role of social media during times of crisis.

Americans have become no strangers to hearing about tragic news and responding to it via social media. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have become places where people turn to find out what is happening on the ground during crisis situations and what they can do to help. They have also become forums for people to show support for the community that was hurt the most. The news of the Boston Marathon bombings was shared seconds after the bombs detonated. There were pictures, videos and news of the horrific event all over social network outlets before the traditional news media arrived at the scene.

Athletes and Their Fight for Equal Rights

In this lesson, students analyze the role of athletes in fights for equal rights by examining the historic actions of Jason Collins, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos.

On April 29, 2013, NBA player Jason Collins stated in an interview with Sports Illustrated, “I’m black. And I’m gay.” This statement makes him the first active professional athlete from the four major sports to come out of the closet.