These things are less techy and more inspired by pop culture once again but I thought they were worth remembering.
Scion Crest Generator – While the choices aren’t unlimited, this nice flash interface will help you make a lot of different crests. The real power would be in requiring logic for the various choices and in that way the restrictions almost work for you- less time in building and more time spent on why your choices make sense. You could do this with just about any character or historical figure. The really nice thing is the image sizes are really good- up to 2048×1536 so you could print them out and do other things with them or just use them as a starting point in Photoshop or some other image editor.
For instance, I made the crest above for this blog. The wrenches on the left to represent the DIY ethic of much of the stuff I like. The circuit board patter on the right to represent the technology. Then the broadcasting icon represented RSS to me and the fire is for igniting a passion for learning.
The wolf is because I like to bite people. I just liked the wolf, a little gritty and banged up from the real world. Corny, I know, but you get the idea.
It’d also be a fun first day, get to know each other activity for younger grades.
Passive aggressive notes via Mental Floss – I can just see all kinds of fun with this concept.
There’s the semi-obvious W. C. Williams “This is Just to Say” poem option. Then you have the students write similar passive aggressive poems “apologizing” for things in the style of other poets.
You could warm the students up by having them write passive aggressive notes first in the style of current pop culture icons. Not exactly current, but Mr. T keeps springing to mind.
I pity the fool
that left those plums
in that icebox.
I won’t spit
no jibba jabba
about being sorry
I ate them.
Mr. T’s gotta eat too.
What kinds of passive aggressive notes would various characters/historical figures leave for one another? You could even get into what they’d write on/with and why. What would their handwriting look like? You’ve got some flexibility in terms of using scenes from the play or real life set ups (Marc Antony and Brutus are sharing an apartment for example).
Take for instance in Julius Caesar, Marc Antony leaves a note for his roommates-
Friends, roommates, countrymen,
Someone has borrowed my car without asking and only one of you has the spare key and that person is Brutus.
I know Brutus would never, ever borrow my car without asking. And if he did, as a “honorable man,” he’d at least have the decency to fill it up with gas when he brought it back because after all he is an “honorable man!”