Monday, April 28, 2014

Pop Culture Play

Bert and Ernie.  Most of us are familiar with these two lovable (or not-so-lovable, it's all in your perspective!) characters that many grew up with while watching Sesame Street.  You may be wondering, "Marnie, you teach fourth grade, what do these muppets have to do with fourth graders?"  Here.  Let me show you.
First, out of 24 fourth graders, two recognized Leonard and Sheldon and the Big Bang Theory.  One even asked, "Ms. Diem, where do you get all these cool pop culture shirts?"  Hello.  What nine year old recognizes and acknowledges pop culture?  Love it!

Anyway, this shirt was a spring board for a somewhat impromptu, yet quite animated, conversation about comparisons, pop culture, parody, allegory, and a handful of other things.  What was great about this lesson was that it really stretched the kids thinking.  It showed me who is still quite literal, and recognized Bert and Ernie as they were, but were unable to imagine them outside of Sesame Street.  Whereas others, by the end of the lesson, were placing Elmo and Mr. Noodle on the Titanic, and Leonard and Sheldon as Minecraft characters.

Every Friday I wear a fun shirt of sorts, that is connected to something we'll be discussing that day.  This discussion far surpassed my expectations of fourth graders, and the most enlightening for me!  I wonder what next Friday will bring!

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