Can Child Stars Survive the Pressure? Analyzing the Influence of Fame on Young People

In this lesson, students use the recent death of Chris Kelly (one half of the 90s child hip-hop sensation Kris Kross) as a platform to discuss the industry and social pressures placed on young stars, which students follow with a research project on the success or demise of a child star.


Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

Using the media provided above, generate a discussion with students about the recent death of Chris Kelly, who was one half of the 1990s child hip-hop sensation Kris Kross. While students may not be familiar with the popularity of Kris Kross during the 90s, the story of the duo's meteoric rise to fame and Chris Kelly's subsequent battle with addiction and recent alleged death due to a drug overdose should be sufficient for students to consider and discuss the following questions:

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Lesson tags: Eleventh, Pop Culture, Social Studies, Tenth, Twelfth

Niall Brennan

Niall Brennan Niall is a professor in the Department of Communication at Fairfield University and holds a Ph.D in Media and Communications. Niall is a well-traveled educator and has taught across the globe from Brazil to the UK. He has also worked in publishing, advertising and information systems in New York City. When he’s not teaching, Niall enjoys cooking, photography and spending time with his best friend and dog, Harry.