Prometheus, Batman Begins and X-Men Origins: A Writing Exercise in Prequel Character Development

This lesson will use recently released prequel films to inspire students in their own creative writing and character development. Over the past several years “origin” films have been wildly popular. Prometheus, Batman Begins, and X-Men First Class are all examples of such films. These films take well known characters and provide a back story that depicts the life events that shaped their personalities. They explain and justify the characters’ actions, for better or for worse. It is an non-traditional, non-chronological method of story telling. In this lesson your students will use these films as inspiration to do the same with their own writing.

Motion Physics with Mario…and Portal

This lesson helps students develop a deep and meaningful understanding of motion physics by playing a video game mash-up of the classic Super Mario Bros. and the popular new wave game Portal. You can use the youtube video to give yourself some other ideas of ways the game can be used to illustrate physics concepts in the classroom. This game is a really great way to actually show students these forces at work with familiar and fun characters and games that they are sure to really enjoy.

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.

#CuttingForBieber: The Power of Social Networks

Recently, a disturbing online campaign was created as a response to the exposure of Justin Bieber’s marijuana use. Started by online pranksters from the image board website 4Chan, the hashtag #CuttingForBieber showed tweets with pictures of fans who allegedly cut themselves in hopes that Bieber would stop smoking marijuana to prevent fans from continuing their self-mutilation. In this lesson, students will create their own anti-drug campaigns as a response to the drastic measures displayed on 4Chan.

The Perfect Storm

Students explore hurricanes in a weather unit and use their skills to critically analyze the science in the movie The Perfect Storm.

I Am Disease, I Am Legend

Students watch the movie I Am Legend to increase their understanding of disease, transmission methods, and immunity.

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.

Batman Jumping and Gliding Physics

Using the Batman movies, students learn about free fall velocity, acceleration due to gravity, and how to combine equations to find the sum of forces on Batman while gliding.