Images and Ink: What Do Tattoos Represent?

The objective of this lesson is for students to write a well thought out op-ed piece on the cultural perception of tattoos and defend their stance orally.

Tattoos have had a long-standing history in many cultures. The name tattoo is actually derived from the Polynesian word tatau, which is a traditional Samoan tattoo that covers a male from the waist down to his knees. Once associated with sailors, gang members, or circus performers, these markings are now part of the mainstream culture. Many critics argue that tattoos look unprofessional and sometimes can even make people look trashy. Others say that tattoos are a form of art and expression and should be held in high regard like any other piece of artwork. These individuals continue by saying that tattoos reflect self-control, empowerment, and a means of creating a sense of self.

Did Football Kill Junior Seau? Concussions, The Brain, and Degenerative Brain Disease

Results of an autopsy have revealed that Junior Seau, the NFL linebacker who committed suicide last May, suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated blows to the head. In this lesson, Seau’s death is used to introduce a discussion of the brain, the structure of brain cells, the way that head injuries cause damage to these cells, and how successive injuries lead to progressive degeneration of brain tissue in the form of CTE.

The Elements of Product Placement

The objective of this lesson is to have students look at existing product placements with a critical eye and develop a product placement plan for an existing product.

Product placements in movies and television shows have become quite a common practice in media. Companies commonly use product placements to promote their brands in an unconventional and sometimes hidden way. If you pay close enough attention to any movie or TV show, you can probably spot a few cleverly placed products ranging from sports drinks to electronics to clothing brands. An example of product placement can be seen in Steven Spielberg’s hit movie E.T. with his inclusion of Reese’s Pieces and television shows like American Idol, which has Coca-Cola logos strategically placed throughout the competition.

The Big Beginning

In this lesson, a techno/electronica music video is used to help students understand the mechanics of “The Big Bang” and some of the evidence of its existence.

SNL and Engaging with Current Events

In this lesson, students engage with a topic in current events by creating an SNL skit and providing comic relief to an otherwise serious subject.

The Thermodynamic Shake

In this lesson, the YouTube craze “The Harlem Shake” is used to introduce students to the concepts of entropy and enthalpy.