I’m not surprise they are a little behind the curve but at least Instructor magazine let fellow educator Nancy Mann Jackson present her ideas on how to engage middle school students using pop culture.
Pop Culture in the Classroom
Engage middle schoolers by bringing pop culture into your lesson plans.
1. Become a gamer.
Playing video games is a favorite pastime for many of your students, so why not look at your curriculum through the lens of games? When talking about how disease affects the human body, have students imagine germs or viruses as the villains and white blood cells and antibodies as the heroes. For a history lesson, have them imagine the setting and the various characters in a battle or conflict. Then, ask students to write a detailed plan for a video game that incorporates elements of your unit of study, including illustrations of scenes.
2. Spoof a favorite TV show.
Allow students to bring their favorite shows into the classroom by creating their own versions. For a social studies class, they could do a spoof on current events, like they might see on The Simpsons. For a history lesson, students can retell historical events using modern characters from a TV show. For a literature class, they might dramatize the events of a novel read in class or create a story of their own. Taping their own shows can include writing a script, working as a team, playing roles, and using video technology.