Memes – by analogy with genes – transmit information, carry cultural ideas, symbols or practices. They self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures. In her highly dynamic session, Anastasia Fetisova made a very strong case that memes can be a highly motivating teaching tool.
Possible uses of memes:
- Introduce vocabulary / slang through memes. Students will be motivated to ‘crack’ the meme in order to get the pun!
- Introduce grammar
- Explore cultural norms – e.g. the fact that they didn’t understand this picture, set Anastasia’s students on a webquest
- To spark discussion – e.g. on internet addition
- Get the students to create their own memes – to try out language (they’ll do lots of editing) or to give you feedback in a fun way
You can also create them using online meme makers, e.g. using keepcalm-o-matic (also teacher-friendly).
Hit meme types
- One doesn’t simply – e.g. to introduce class rules.
- What I really do is a great springboard for discussing pros and cons of different careers.
- Chemistry cat – could great for ESP
- Terrible teacher – to look at ourselves from a different perspective. =)
A very inspiring session!