Hello parents and students. I was in a daycare recently talking to a friend of mine when I noticed something. One of her 3 year olds was drawing himself as a super hero. The thing that caught my eye was above his drawing were the words "Super [child's names]". I couldn't help but ask my friend about the child knowing how to spell that word. She told me that he always watches a show with "super" in the title. She went on to say that although this boy is relatively shy and quiet, he will usually open up to talk about this show.
This got me thinking about how instrumental the media can be. Before I go on I do have to say that I do not feel everything in the media is suited for students. That being said there are many benefits. Not only did the young boy add meaning to a word that he probably can not sound out yet, but he also gained the confidence to express himself through this medium because of this show. Expression is important in my class and I find that a lot of students are able to express thoughts about games or TV easier than other things. I use this to get my students to start thinking critically. For example, I might ask them to pick a character and jot down why, how, and what it is about them that they like. The answers might be short, however the students will still have to think critically to get the answers.
I have also found this medium to be useful to teach my kids about different cultures. A few students in my class speak other languages. As an example I will sometimes play a song (ex. “Old McDonald”) in English, then play that same song in a different language. I feel that this will help them gain understanding of different types of cultures in the world.
There is a lot of opportunity to use pop culture for a student’s benefit. There are educational TV shows, environmental print (such as Mcdonald’sã old slogan “We love to see you smile”) and more for children to gather knowledge. From expression, to understanding, to even recognizing/remembering words from a TV show; I feel that certain things in the media could be useful for education.
As always please feel free to ask me any questions whenever you would like.