History vs Hollywood: Analyzing Lincoln

In this lesson, students will review two short representations of the life of Abraham Lincoln — one in the recent Hollywood films, the other in a documentary — and will analyze, discuss, and think further about how history and historical figures are re-constructed through fiction, as well as the boundaries between fact and fiction in such portrayals.

The Effect of Marijuana and Alcohol on Your Brain

Students learn about the harmful effects that alcohol and marijuana have on brain development and overall academic achievement. This is a good way of introducing the concept of the neuron and neurotransmitters.

Exploring Dystopia in Literature and Popular Culture

In this lesson, students learn the definition of dystopia and explore the ways dystopia has been represented not only in the classics of literature but also in forms of popular culture such as film, advertising, comic books, and young adult literature.

How to Write an Op-Ed Using Pop Culture Topics

In this lesson, students will learn how to write a successful op-ed by focusing on a controversial topic in popular culture. They will research the topic thoroughly, choose a side to argue, and convey their positions in a 2-3 page op-ed.

Bullying Amongst Giants: A Critical Analysis of the Miami Dolphins’ Bullying Incident

In this lesson, students will discuss the recent controversy surrounding the Miami Dolphins’ locker room conflict between teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin.

◦Students will determine, based on their own assessment of the situation, if bullying took place and what contributing factors played a role in the situation.

◦Students will critique the media reports and come to their own conclusions based on their critical analysis of the reported events.

◦Students will carry out the basics of research and data collection, draw conclusions, and summarize and form an argument based on facts and supporting details.


Who’s Hot, Who’s Not? Using Algebra To Analyze Viral Phenomena

Usually, by the time your grandmother starts doing the “Dougie”, you know things have gotten out of hand. Since YouTube’s launch a decade ago, it has made it all too easy to reach millions of people with a catchy video and become a viral sensation. Many videos become “viral” overnight, but few stand the test of time. Some grow organically, others are the clever, contrived work of advertising agencies and production companies. I’m always amazed by the “started from the bottom” dance crazes, where a music video that cost nothing to make becomes a global banger. Not counting cat videos, or Bat Dad (my favorite), who makes your list for the top viral videos of all time. Furthermore, who’s got the hottest dance right now flooding the interwebs? Join the discussion below…

Comparing Queens of the Past and Present

In this lesson, students compare the queens of ancient history with women who they define as queens of their generation by using Janelle Monae’s song “Q.U.E.E.N.” Students will also learn to express themselves poetically in their definitions of today’s queens.