Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Unit Introduction: What is Popular Culture? - Section 2: Essential Questions/Free Writing and Sharing


I’ve taught thematic units on popular culture before (I used to teach a media studies course that focused solely on themes of pop culture), and it is usually the case that students don’t really have much of an idea of what popular culture is, and tend to define it as the popular songs and movies of the day, rather than its connection to broader culture.  They also have a tendency to consider themselves above it, or at least not influenced by it.  From those experiences, I learned to start this way—for students to write about their views and share them so I can build on them and shape them rather than throw lots of definitions at them right away—this gives them some ownership, and gives me an idea of where they are so I can build on their notions.  This class did what most others have done in writing about songs and movies, with a couple also focusing on You Tube trends.  One student said “I like to listen to trashy music once in a while for fun” as a way of recognizing their participation while separating some, too (I asked how they defined trashy, and she said Keisha, to which others agreed. . . though I said it may not be trashy to everyone; I have some music snobs!).  I wrote, too, and shared a thought about how politics has now become entertainment via The Daily Show, among other places, and that it seems like the politicians see themselves that way, too, in how they play to the cameras.  Overall, I was able to discern that content-wise I will need to focus on the broader idea of culture and how we are all influenced by popular culture in how we act going forward.

  Establishing a Conceptual Framework is Important
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Establishing a Conceptual Framework is Important
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Unit Introduction: What is Popular Culture?

Unit 8: Thematic Unit: Popular Culture
Lesson 1 of 16

Objective: SWBAT develop a conceptual definition of popular culture through free-writing and sharing ideas.

Big Idea: The term "popular culture" is easy to use in conversation, but difficult to define.

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Writing, English / Language Arts, Reading, Nonfiction (Reading), context, conceptual framework, rhetorical analysis
  40 minutes
pop culture
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