It Gets Better: A Film Project

The It Gets Better Project was created in 2010 to show young Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LBGT) the level of happiness and positivity they can reach in their lives- if they can get through their teen years. The creation of this project was inspired due to exorbitant amount students who are taking their own lives because they were bullied and harassed at school. This movement has inspired people worldwide to create videos focusing around the message of It Gets Better- even celebrities and political figures have gotten involved including President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Colin Farrell, and Lady Gaga.

The goal of this lesson is to have the students work together to create their own It Gets Better video.

Using Superhero Alter-Egos to Understand Basic Freudian Psychology

This lesson helps students understand basic Freudian psychology by having them apply his theories to popular superheroes. In every superhero story, we see two sides to the hero’s character, her/his human side and her/his superhuman side. The human side is often comprised of traits to which an audience can easily relate: loneliness, an inability to conform, unrequited love, etc. For example, Peter Parker of Spider-Man is a socially isolated nerd who can barely get the girl of his dreams to notice him. His superhuman side, on the other hand, is fearless, powerful, and exceedingly popular. Have your students use Freud’s theory of the id, ego, and superego to analyze how and why these humans transform into their respective superhero alter-egos.

The Slave Narrative of Django…The D is Silent

In this lesson, students create their own slave narratives by researching aspects of the film Django Unchained that both conform to and depart from the traditional characteristics of past slave narratives.

Django Unchained tells the story of a slave-turned-bounty-hunter and discusses his exploits and adventures. This lesson helps students understand the different aspects of traditional slave narratives and how such narratives are related to Django Unchained.

Become a Film Critic … In Three Minutes or Less!

In this lesson, students review a trailer or a scene from a film for both its implausible and its credible or well-done features, write their review, and present it to the rest of the class along with the selected trailer or scene.

Writing Your Own “Epic Rap Battle”

In this lesson, students will demonstrate an understanding of two historical figures and their opposing ideologies by writing their own “Epic Rap Battles of History.” They will also exercise their debate and persuasive writing skills.

Using Kickstarter to Launch Your Creative Project

The objective of this lesson is for students to develop creative projects that they will “pitch” to investors on Kickstarter.

Many people have used Kickstarter as a way to gain exposure and financing for projects that, otherwise, would have fallen through the cracks. Most recently, the creator of the TV show Veronica Mars posted a project to make a feature film of the TV show, and, to date, it has raised $5 million dollars of financing.

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.

The Friendship Algorithm: How to scientifically choose your friends

Dr. Sheldon Cooper, PhD from the Big Bang Theory has come up with a hypothesis that may have revealed the formula to friendship, have your students learn about algorithms and see if they can crack the code to life’s biggest questions.

Flowcharts are used by coders and programmers in the tech startup and app development industry to graphically depict the algorithms the programmers want to convert to code. Students will view the example provided and attempt to produce their own algorithms to gain a basic understanding of programming and idea mapping.

I Did WHAT?!? Alcohol, the Brain, and the Blackout

In this lesson, students will discuss the role of alcohol in popular youth culture and will learn about where alcohol comes from and how it affects the brain. Students will specifically examine why people sometimes blackout when they’ve had too much to drink.