On top of the in-class work that students do, teachers can also utilize pop culture to teach writing skills. Students approach these lessons with excitement and enjoyment, making them more receptive to new learning methods.To help teachers use pop culture as a writing resource, this blog post has compiled a list of some great sci-fi movies, books, and music videos for teaching close reading skills.
This post will give you ideas on incorporating these resources into your next writing lesson without breaking the bank or risking lost student interest.
8 Ways on How Teachers Can Use Pop Culture to Teach Writing Skills
1. Inspire Students to Write Through Popular Writing Stories
Teachers can first use pop culture to teach writing skills by inspiring students to write through a popular writing story. For this lesson, you will need students (preferably in their lower grades), at least one writer’s choice book, and one visualization of the different elements of the story.
To begin, gather a group of students interested in your pop culture lesson. Next, have them read the writer’s choice book that they have chosen and then discuss with them how they feel about the story. Then, when you are ready, show your visualization of each element and ask them what they think about each scene. Finally, ask them how they feel about the story ending and how it made them feel.
Afterward, allow your students to write about the story in their own words.
2. Use Pop Culture References for Close Reading Writing Lessons
Teachers can use pop culture to teach writing skills by using pop culture references for their close reading and writing lessons. In this lesson, you will need a piece of music with a clear and easy-to-follow beat and rhythm (preferably hip-hop or rap) and at least one visual representation of the lyrics of that music video. First, ask students what they think of the music video they chose.
3. Pair Pop Culture Research with Literature
Teachers can use pop culture to teach writing skills by pairing pop culture references with literature. For example, having students read and analyze a popular literature book will expose them to a world of new characters, scenarios, storylines, and ideas.
4. Use Popular Music for Writing Skill Strategies
The fourth way teachers can use pop culture to teach writing skills is by using popular music for writing skill strategies. For this lesson, you will need at least one visual representation of the song’s lyrics (this can be anything from a short video to an illustration).
Incorporate this song into your next writing lesson and have your students listen to the lyrics and analyze how they are written. Then, have them produce their own song lyrics to learn how to write better lyrics.
5. Teach Writing Skills Through Movies with Film Studies
The fifth way teachers can use pop culture to teach writing skills is by teaching writing skills through movies with film studies. For this lesson, you will need one movie or short video for a specific purpose (e.g., teaching about plagiarism). It should be clear and easy to follow so that it does not confuse or distract students from learning about the movie’s main theme or storyline.
When you are ready, show this movie to your students and ask them what they think about it. Then, as they watch the movie, you can point out to them how it relates to examples of plagiarism and what they can learn from it.
6. Teach Writing Skills Through Real-Life People with Biography
The sixth way teachers can use pop culture to teach writing skills is by having students research real-life people with biography writing lessons. For this lesson, you will need a list of celebrities, their full name and date of birth, and at least one picture or image of each celebrity (work in teams for this part).
Then, gather your students and tell them that they will be learning about a person or group of people in this lesson. Tell them their job is to find as much information about this person or people as possible using the list and images you have selected.
7. Use Pop Culture to Teach Writing Skills Through Close Reading Lessons
The seventh way teachers can use pop culture to teach writing skills is by using pop culture references for close reading and writing lessons. For this lesson, you will need at least one picture or image of a scene from the story (these should be easy to follow and fairly recent). This can be anything from a short video to an illustration.
8. Use Music in Your Writing Lessons to Teach Students to be More Creative
The eighth way teachers can use pop culture to teach writing skills is by using music in their writing lessons. For this lesson, you will need a piece of music (preferably hip-hop or rap) that your students have chosen. Then, when you are ready, play the song for your students and ask them where they think the lyrics are coming from.
Afterward, ask them what they think about the song and how it made them feel. Next, ask them for any personal experiences that inspired the song’s lyrics. Lastly, ask them if they think other people will enjoy the song and how it made them feel.
Pop culture is often the driving force behind today’s most progressive and innovative writing stories and articles. If you use pop culture in your classes, you will be cutting the edge of today’s educational standards. All you need to do is ensure that everything is age-appropriate for your students.
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