8+ Ways Teachers Use Pop Culture in Their Curricula

by | 03.23.16

“Teaching the difference between digital and analog with @Adele in science class today!”—@AliciaJohal

Is there a teacher who hasn’t struggled to keep a class on track when all students want to talk about is their favorite singer’s new album release? Alicia Johal’s tweet about incorporating Adele into lesson inspired us to ask our Twitter followers, “How do you blend pop culture into your own curriculum in the classroom?” Read on for your fellow teachers’ responses and to pick up a few ideas for your own class:

  1. “I use memes, you know the phenomenon, to help w/ SEL in HS. ‘Thought of the Day.’ Students are asked to reflect, interpret.” —@teachem2fish
  2. “I taught a sem course on LOST to help struggling readers with lit elements. It made me so happy and students [are] so obsessed.”—@ablahbrouhaha
  3. “Selfies, Forrest Gump, The Matrix, & TED talks in Soc. … Spotify playlist, Walking Dead, reality tv in psych.” —@lisa_hollenbach
  4. “I spend 1 hour a week listening to the music my students like. It helps to learn about who our kids’ heroes are!” —@OlogyResearch
  5. “Gr6 Giacometti-style sculpture does a dab. Pop culture meets high art.” —@goldengate10art
  6. “TV cooking shows! … After school cooking clubs to teach nutrition, science, math—kids love to cook!” —@pamdannon
  7. “Put vocabulary from Spanish, English, history, science, etc., into a popular song. Have the kids write the lyrics to the beat. Use a sporting event to relate to math, history—i.e., (war), foreign language (vocabulary), literature (diff. scenarios). Have kids find examples of metaphors, alliteration, etc., in music. Also find current events that relate to the topic of study.” —@mlaforgia1
  8. Looking for more ideas? Learn about teacher Sarah Carter’s project-based learning using Disney movies via Edutopia.

Share how you incorporate pop culture into your own classroom in the comments below. And if you’re not already following us on Twitter, do so and join in the conversation here!

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