George Washington on Steroids
Something simple and silly I did back in the day to emphasize the strength of the leadership of the Continental Army. Trying to make visual connections and keep people interested through humor.
I’m reminiscing some about my days teaching 6th grade and as I find things that I still like1 I plan to post them. Not that they’re particularly useful to others but it helps me keep track and who knows what it might inspire.
1 There’s not a whole lot I still like. I look at a lot of it with disgust and sorrow. I wish I could do it again knowing what I now know, you know- and that’s half the battle.
I found these beautiful notes from SXSW via Boing Boing where I saw Battledecks which led to this summary. credit Mike Rohde Powerpoint meets Karaoke in this battle of wits. Watch your favorite speakers craft an off-the-cuff presentation using slides they’ve never seen before. Eight competitors will have five minutes to complete their presentation. Three judges will score the participants based on their use of jargon, gesturing and credibility. Who will take home the trophy and who will totally choke? Come see for yourself! Two things came to mind for me. 1. Battledecks with your class. You set up a serious of slides that deal with your topic. Divide the class into groups and give out the deck. They’ve got X minutes to come up with the content to match the slides. Points are awarded for relevancy, creativity/entertainment, jargon etc. For English, this could get really creative. It’d be an awesome way to do work with vocabulary words or story structure. They could pitch a story Hollywood style using as many vocabulary words as possible while working the story through the basic steps (rising action, etc). You could add difficulty by forcing genres on the students (nice way to review those elements as well). Now, this won’t work at all if you’re giving them traditional bullet point slide decks to […]
A hodgepodge of links that inspired me and rough ideas on how I’d use them in class. Wondermarkvia boingboing What is it? It’s a poster that lets you build your own story by picking component pieces- think MadLibs but for story construction. What I’d do with it- This would be a really interesting culminating activity after studying a genera, author, poet or historical era. The students have to figure out the basic elements that are present in the author’s works or major people/conflicts/geography of the era. They then build a similar poster. It’d be hard to figure out which elements would be the variables and which would be consistent. Lots of thinking involved. Thinking about it, it might be a fun thing to build in Google forms using the new branching options. The Shadowfound via superpunch What is it? An artist who’s envisioning a boy with a monstrous shadow. What I’d do with it- It’d be fun to depict the inner-selves of historical and literary figures as their shadows. So you’d have students analyzing the characters or historical figures and then drawing representative shadows. The key would be in how they explain what the shadow represents and how they explain the difference between the public persona and the inner-self. It could represent their hidden dark side, kind of like what […]
I was listening to “Ain’t too Proud to Beg” coming to work this morning. I’m always surprised what songs actually say when you really listen to the lyrics. Essentially, a number of the things advised by songs can be highly questionable- even in innocent seeming songs from The Temptations. Given that and the predilection of stars to get in legal trouble I came up with this idea. In other news, I’d love to compare when words like “gun” are censored from songs on the radio based on the music type. For instance, Aerosmith’s Janie’s Got A Gun has no censoring but pretty much any rap song has “gun” censored (Even semi-rap like- Everlast’s What It’s Like gets censored.). Essentially, identify an innocent seeming song that advocates some odd/criminal behavior and reformat it as a police report style article. My example based on “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” is below. Bonus points if you can find a song from a singer/rapper actually arrested for that activity (Bobby Brown and a few others come to mind). It is probably too easy to use rap songs about drugs and killing people but set your own bar as high or low as you’d like. I think it’s much more fun if the song seems totally innocent. January, 22, 2012 – Resisting Arrest/Violation of a […]