Learning Similes and Metaphors with Katy Perry’s Firework

In this lesson, students will learn what a similes and metaphors, and how they are used as similar forms of expression in Katy Perry’s “Firework”. This song provides a useful example of similes and metaphors; it shows how they are alike as well as how they differ, both in the song lyrics and the music video.

Firework uses similes and metaphors to address important issues for young people, such as difference, bullying, body image, and unstable family environments.

Mario Explains Wave Physics

The classic video game character Mario shows that he has brains as well as brawn as he educates his fans about wave physics. This lesson is a great way to introduce or review different topics in a wave physics unit.

The Physics of Freefall: Felix Baumgartner’s Record Breaking Space-Jump

In this lesson, Felix Baumgartner’s space-jump is used to teach students about acceleration due to gravity, air resistance, and the way that those two forces combine to produce terminal velocity.
In October 2012, Felix Baumgartner dove to earth from 28,000 feet in the air and lived to tell about it. He also set five world records including highest altitude skydive and fast freefall velocity.

CDs, MP3s, and the Decline of the Record Industry

In this lesson, students analyze and explain the decline of the record industry over the last 10 years. As of 2003, over 2,700 music retailers across the United States have closed, including popular stores such as Virgin Megastore, Tower Records, and HMV. Sales by online music retailers like iTunes, Rhapsody, and Amazon have increased, but not enough to make up for the decline in physical album sales. In this lesson, students will develop ideas about how to save the record industry from becoming extinct.

Understanding the Flu

The objective of this lesson is for students to better understand how fast a virus can spread and what precautions they can take to decrease the chances of getting sick. The flu is a virus, which means it can easily be transmitted. Movies like Outbreak and Contagion have exaggerated the quick mutation of the flu by showing fast spreading, deathly epidemics. These films’ depictions of how the virus is spread, however, are both accurate. Coughing, sneezing, and talking can all transmit the flu.

Create Your Own Starbucks Drink

The objective of this lesson is to have students create a new product that can be introduced by an already profitable company.

We all know the international coffeehouse, Starbucks – this company not only has convenient locations, but also has a friendly staff with vastly popular coffee drinks. For those who are not fans of caffeinated beverages, they offer a whole slew of decaffeinated alternatives.

Learning to “Lose Yourself” with Biofeedback Gaming

In this lesson, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is used to introduce the topic of stress and how it affects students’ lives. YouTube videos are used to explain the science behind the “fight-or-flight” response, and students are shown new biofeedback-linked video games that train players to overcome stress through breath control.

Storytelling in the Twitter Age

Recently, Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter wrote that the microblogging site is considering getting rid of its 140 character limit.

The limit was not part of the initial plan for Twitter and was only included so that tweets could fit in to a single sms message. These days people are getting more and more adept at using 140 characters to communicate; according to the statistics, there are 9,100 tweets going out every second!

This 140 character limit has been referred to as “a beautiful constraint.” Many writers and artists are getting intrigued and inspired by the challenges and opportunities that the Twitter format has inspired.

R.L.Stine, known for the Goosebumps series, has already started using twitter to tell stories, and true to form they are creepy!

Artists, Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman’s went even further with the technology, using the GPS information embedded in Twitter updates to locate where users were tweeting from and photographing the real world locations to create a visual story.

Even the Library of Congress acknowledges that 140 characters can be used to tell a story. In fact it is creating an archive of all tweets from 2006 to April 2010 to help them in their mission to “collect the story of America”. With Twitter accounts belonging to the likes of God and Bigfoot who can blame them!

There are many stories to be told and Twitter has succeeded so far – what do you think of Storytelling in the Twitter Age?

The Rant: Making Sense of Mr. Bryant

In this lesson, students will imagine they are Kobe Bryant’s personal editor and use his recent Facebook rant to learn to identify mistakes in writing and compose their own essays to better express Kobe’s woes.