Pop culture is all around our students…so why not use it in the classroom!? I have found that when I can use pop culture in my teaching, I can more easily get students’ attention and find common ground on which to discuss big concepts. I’ve always enjoyed using song lyrics to study poetry concepts, current events written about celebrities for analysis, images of actors and actresses in my lessons to illustrate a point or use movies to discuss themes and literary devices. And it’s just fun! It’s fun to find movie clips to show kids that they have seen before, but can look at in a new way. And of course literature. So much AMAZING YA and middle grade novels are being written and finding ways to use them in the classroom is such a powerful message to students.
Being willing to learn alongside students is significant…and not only for them. This is powerful for us as educators too. If we are trying to help nurture lifelong learners, we need to demonstrate what that looks like and be learners ourselves. We can’t just dismiss pop culture because it is weaved into the fabric of the students we teach. We must use it to our advantage.