A Discussion about Female Empowerment and Pop Culture

This lesson’s objective is to have students discuss women’s empowerment in 21st century pop culture.

Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna are only a few examples of icons that represent female empowerment in pop culture. Their tracks are not only fun to listen to, but also send a message of female empowerment. Females in the entertainment industry have made great strides, however many feminist groups argue that some female artists dress too provocatively in their music videos and even do a disservice to the female population. However, others believe many of them reflect positive examples of female independence and accomplishment in a male dominated industry.

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.

What’s Your Million-Dollar Idea?

The objective of this lesson is to teach students how to create their own business plans. On the popular television show Shark Tank, entrepreneurs present their ideas to a panel of investors in hopes of obtaining investments in their businesses. For this lesson, students think of a product or idea that they believe will be marketable to the public and write up a business plan for it.

Art Imitating Life? Reality TV and Stereotypes

The objective of this lesson is for students to critically analyze reality TV shows that perpetuate stereotypes and develop their own new reality TV show concept.

Shows like Jersey Shore, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Mob Wives, and MTV’s newest show, Buckwild, showcase the lives of different groups of people. Some argue that these shows negatively depict the people featured in the programs and reinforce injurious stereotypes. Most recently, the show Buckwild, which focuses on a group of teens in Appalachia, has faced backlash from the Appalachian community. Even the US Senator from West Virginia labeled the show a sham and called for MTV to cancel it.

The Physics of the Dunk

Students learn about the physics and mathematics behind dunking a basketball using ESPN Sport Science‘s feature on Blake Griffin.

Writing Your Own Spoken Word

The objective of this lesson is for students to demonstrate their language arts skills and creativity by writing their own spoken word pieces.

Spoken word is a type of art that is word based and usually includes experimentation with other art forms such as music, theater, and dance. Spoken word poetry is often performed in a competitive setting known as “slam poetry.” An example of slam poetry is Def Poetry, which is an HBO series that showcased performances by established spoken word poets and up-and-coming artists.

Literary Elements and Character Development in WWE

In this lesson, students learn about literary elements and character development by examining how they are present in and crucial to the success of WWE.

WWE relies heavily on character development, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Without these literary elements, fans would not be as invested in the action taking place in “the squared circle” because there would not be as much drama associated with the competition. With these literary elements, however, fans become involved in multiple conflicts, pick their favorite characters, choose sides in rivalries, and watch as feuds unfold over weeks, months, and even years.

This lesson should be approached carefully as many students may believe that the action of WWE is unscripted. The lesson can still be implemented, however, without making students aware of the degree to which the drama of WWE is scripted.

Spring Break and Beyond: A Look at Different Cultures’ Spring-Time Traditions

In this lesson, students will research spring traditions that expand beyond the American teenager’s concept of “spring break” and analyze how they represent “rebirth.” Each student will pick a tradition from a different culture to research and present her/his findings in a brief oral presentation and PowerPoint.