Using Popular Culture to help students buildtheir identities and inspire writing
After reading –reflective and inferential questions:» What did this story make you think about?» What do you think the author was trying toteach us?» What was the most important part of the story?Why?
Typical Student responses» Non-verbal communication (shoulder shrug)» “I don’t know what you want me to write”» “It don’t make me think about nothing”» “Who cares about that dumb story!”
“Writing now more regularly activates reading. Infront of computer screens and keyboards, peopletypically read from prior positions as composersand messagers.”Holding on to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones, 46)
» If I want my students to see themselves as writers, Ihave to help them feel like they have something tosay.“If these (sports affiliations, hip-hop, movies, televisions, etc.)cultural resources are dismissed for whatever reason, (tooexploitive, too commercial, too tied to television, too ‘lowclass’), if the middle/professional-class type of book culture isperceived as the only useful literacy experience, the result isprofoundly alienating and inequitable.(Holding on to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones, p.96)
» Student identity is significantly influenced bypopular culture.“Children appropriate cultural material toparticipate in and explore their worlds.”(Literacy as Social Practice, p.114)
Option 1: Think about the story of your name,does your name fit you, why or why not?Option 2: Think of a favorite movie or TV show.Which character is most like you? Or Whichcharacter would you be. Why?
Help them “build” their writing identity, they need toincrease their own cultural capacity and awareness» Similar to a reflection journal or writer’s notebookbut a little less mobile and more concrete andtangible» Marks their space» Things about how they see themselves on theinside and how others see them on the outside,form of a hand, star, circles, etc.» Contents lend themselves to writing topics andconnections to literacy activities over time
» Virtual identitybox/pin board» Inspiration for writingpieces with images,topics of interest» Must be done withadult supervision
» Begin at the beginning of the year and addthroughout each unit, quarter, etc. (how have Ichanged)» Character study for literature, historicalcontexts» Expand across all curricular subjects
» If students are going to take risks by conferring,sharing and writing, they have to feel safe andvalued.“The most important part of teaching and learning isdirectly related to the relationship that exists between theteacher and the student.”(Do You Know Me Enough to Teach Me, 37)
“It is impossible to teach a child before youfirst capture and inspire that child. Thespecial relationships that exist amongteachers, students, and administrators arethe keys that unlock the door to success andexcellence in any school at any level.”(Do You Know Enough About Me to Teach Me? p.2)
Create shared experiences for community buildingTry it Out» Change the lyrics to a common song to reflectthoughts about some aspect of the school dayex: lunch, recess, P.E. Math, etc.» Share by reading or singing
» Share favorite song ahead of time» Play that song during daily writing time, identify theirfavorite part» Discuss what it means as a class» Invite the all students to pick their own thought-provokingpart of the song» Comment in Google Document-what is the author trying to say?-what does it make you think about?» Find opportunities throughout the day and beyond to referback to the song. Lends itself to many extensions to this,poetry, mechanics, grammar, refer to it or its meaning orhelp them make connections to the literature
Karis’ Favorite PartI gotta be the best,and yesWere the flyestLike David andGoliathI conquered thegiant
In karite kid jaden was david and these other kids were trying tobully him. But the kids challenged jaden in a karate match.Jaden was worried that he wouldn’t beat them but he did andhe felt happy.This makes me think about veggie tales because Goliath was acucumber and david was brocli. David beat Goliath. This storyreminds me of when I first started playing soccer when I waslittle. When I first started to play soccer I thotght that I couldn’tplay as well as the other kids. I was SCARED! Then when I gotolder I got really good at it. I jounied a new team. That teamwas called Comets! My coach said that I was one of the mostagresive players. Now that the seasons over I could take a breakfrom all the soccer practice in the rain and my games. But Ireally miss it and I want to play again.
» How do you motivate your struggling writers?» How do u help students ‘see’ themselves?» How do you feel about the use of popularculture in classroom?
» CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics ortexts, supporting a point of view with reasons» CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory textsto examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.» CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.3 Write narratives to develop real orimagined experiences or events using effective technique,descriptive details, and clear event sequences.» CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.6 With guidance and support fromadults, use technology to produce and publish writing (usingkeyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate withothers.
» Looking Like Me By Walter Dean Myers» Do You Know Enough About Me to Teach Me byStephen G. Peters» Holding on to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones byThomas Newkirk» Literacy as Social Practice Edited by Vivian Vasquez,Kathryn Egawa, Jerome Harste, Richard Thompson» http://www.readwritethink.org» http://www2.facinghistory.org/Campus/rm.nsf/sc/IDCharts