Why teens love dystopian stories…

Divergent won the box office race last weekend as teens raced to see the popular YA novel brought to life (my daughter saw it twice in three days).  Slate.com film critic Dana Stevens has a slightly snarky take on why teens find dystopian stories so appealing.

Why teens love dystopias” – article with study questions.

Her article is not an easy read, but might provide an example of how an engaging topic and strong prior knowledge can help students bridge vocabulary challenges.  The final paragraph of the article includes the words:  “realpolitik”, “allegorical”, “multitiered”, “affiliation”, “constrictively”, and “malevolent”. Rather than pre-teach the vocabulary, consider challenging the students to closely read the final paragraph and construct meaning using strategies they devise.


Effective Presentations – Consider Purpose and Audience

Author Nancy Durante makes the case for considering the purpose of your presentation and the nature of your audience prior to designing a presentation.  She writes,

Ask yourself what you want to get out of the time you have with the group. Do you need to simultaneously inform, entertain, and persuade your audience to adopt a line of thinking or to take action? Or do you need to gather more information, have a discussion, or drive the group toward consensus to get to your desired next step?”

Creating opportunities for students to demonstrate their presentation skills, and their knowledge of content in a variety of contexts gives us the opportunity to teach students the importance of considering their purpose and audience prior to creating a presentation.  Whether its a pitch, a rant, a lesson, a research report, a TED talk, a formal debate, a trial or a sales presentation — we can help students to understand how what they’re trying to achieve and for what audience should inform the ideas they focus on, how they organize their ideas, and how they choose to present their content.

Giving students multiple opportunities to practice “quick” presentations with their peers builds relationships and trust in the classroom that can help students perform better with less anxiety.

"Hands down the best decision my parents ever forced me to make!"

This funny parody of University promotional videos provides a provocative challenge to the value of a degree.

A number of articles recently have added fuel to this issue.  It might make a timely and relevant research task.  Particularly when tied to some explorations using MyBluePrint.ca