Pokemon Photosynthesis

In this lesson, a scene from the Pokemon television show is used to provide an introduction to photosynthesis. This lesson helps to reinforce the idea that sunlight is energy, and so is food.

#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.

Creating Your Own Once Upon a Time

The objective of this lesson is for students to participate in a new trend in popular culture by taking a classic fairy tale and reinventing it.
Fairy tales like Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Peter Pan allow children to dream and imagine how things would be if they had a Fairy Godmother or were able to fly to Never Land. As we get older, we realize these stories are just fairy tales. However, shows like Once Upon a Time and movies like Happily Ever After, Snow White and the Huntsman, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, and Jack, The Giant Slayer have taken traditional fairy tales and reinvented them to appeal to older audiences.
In this lesson, students will follow the current trend of revising traditional fairy tales to create their own new “Once upon a time…”

Learning to “Lose Yourself” with Biofeedback Gaming

In this lesson, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is used to introduce the topic of stress and how it affects students’ lives. YouTube videos are used to explain the science behind the “fight-or-flight” response, and students are shown new biofeedback-linked video games that train players to overcome stress through breath control.

The Blueprint to Cuban Travel

In this lesson, students will explore US-Cuba relations of the past and present through the use of Jay Z’s song “Open Letter.”

After making a trip to Cuba with his wife Beyonce, Jay Z received criticism from politicians and lawmakers. In response to this criticism, he recorded a song called “Open Letter.”

Using selected lyrics from the song, students will be asked to analyze Jay Z’s rhymes and discover how his words are related to ongoing issues between the United States and Cuba. Students will also write their own open letters about US-Cuban relations.

5 Ways Dubstep Is Messing With Your Brain

Try this great STEAM lesson that combines the Arts with STEM learning. Students are very passionate about their music, this article and lesson will help students understand the scientific reasons why they lose themselves in their favorite songs.

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Hero on a Budget: Learn Money Management from the World of Warcraft

Even in the fantasy world, there are no shortcuts to success, everyone in the WoW starts off at the bottom and works their way up.
What better way to practice going broke, or testing out financial decisions than through the virtual world of Draenor?  World of Warcraft is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Blizzard Entertainment.  It is an online game where millions of players from around the world assume the roles of heroic fantasy characters and explore a world full of magic and mystery. You start out as a newcomer, and must learn and practice your skills to survive.  Earning and spending money is a key aspect of the success of your character. At the beginning, you are given a small satchel to carry your belongings as well as some basic gear.  You earn everything you need from this point onward.  You explore and collect items, earning money and objects through quests.  You first earn copper pieces, then silver, then gold.  Much like the real world, you have to prove your abilities with less lucrative jobs, before you can advance to better ones. Even in the fantasy world, there are no shortcuts to success, everyone in the WoW starts off at the bottom and works their way up.  There’s no silver spoon handed to you from the start.

WoW can actually be a pretty useful tool in learning personal financial literacy or the ability to manage and understand your financial conditions.  This includes the ability to make financial choices, talk about money and financial issues with others, plan for the future, and respond competently to life events that affect everyday financial decisions, including events in the general economy.  Luckily in the WoW there are no economic reasons to ever worry about anything but yourself.  So it puts your financial planning in a bit of a bubble, but thats ok for practice purposes. Here are some tips on how to manage your wealth as an Elf…

1. Pawning for Power: In the game you must manage your budget.  The games’ creators have carefully balanced objects’ values based on your location and your likelihood of affording certain items you might need – like a better set of armor or better weapons.  Through quests, and selling back items you find (like pawning in the real world) you can build up a small amount to be able to buy things for yourself.

2. Auction House Hustle: When you have amassed a large quantity of items, either through farming, looting, or crafting, you can sell these items in bulk, directly to other players through the auction house. Real players may need something very specific that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.  Much like the real world, supply and demand dictate the prices in the auction house.  You can compare the current going rate for certain items, and then undercut your selling price to try and win some sales first.  This is the best way to earn a LOT of money all at once.

3. Stash your Cash: Your coin purse is similar to a basic checking account.  You see your balance after making a purchase.  There are bank vaults where you can store more items or money that you won’t be able to spend immediately without retrieving – like a savings account.  This is a smart solution to curb the desire to spend all of your money in one place or to squander your money without planning for the future – like buying that super expensive flying mount.

Luckily, WoW is still a fantasy realm and you don’t have to face the greatest monster of them all, DEBT. But there are still valuable money management lessons you can learn along your quest to rule the kingdom.