If you’re on social media (and let’s face: our students are on social media), you’re familiar with the concept of the meme. Several years ago, it seemed like I couldn’t get through a class period without multiple students showing me a meme, showing it to friends, or even begging me to project it on the board. After the initial frustration of being inundated by memes, I decided to bring memes into my classroom — by means of learning.
The assignment is simple: During the reading of a novel (or even after), I ask students to design a meme for a character, theme, or a specific scene in the book. Sometimes, I place chapter numbers in a hat and students have to create a meme based on the chapter number drawn. Either way, they always enjoy the assignment (and always end up creating more than the assigned one meme).
There are tons of meme creator sites on the internet, but my students and I like the following for their simplicity and selection: www.memecreator.org, www.imgflip.com, and www.memegenerator.net. My only warning in navigating these sites is that anyone can post memes on them. Some may be inappropriate for school, so I oftentimes save this assignment for my more mature classes.
Here’s a meme created through www.imgflip.com inspired by Act I, scene 1 of Romeo & Juliet:
Here’s another one created by a student after reading the discussion between Cassius and Brutus in Act I, scene 2 of Julius Caesar:
Want to see lots more student-created memes? The videos below highlight memes created after English 2 students read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451:
I’d love to see how you’re using memes in your classroom! Please comment below.
Guest Post by Nicole LaFave
Nicole LaFave is a 9th grade English teacher at Fort Mill High School in Fort Mill, SC. A former District Teacher of the Year from Kershaw County School District, Nicole holds a B.A. in English from Clemson University and a Masters in Teaching English from University of South Carolina. With seven years of experience teaching in a 1:1 classroom, Nicole currently works with a class set of Chromebooks and integrates technology into her G/T, Honors, CP, TP and Inclusion level classes on a daily basis. A former self-professed technology pariah, Nicole now strives to teach outside of her technology comfort zone; she loves that technology can benefit her students and their learning experiences.
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