How does body type, identity, and health become twisted through the use of social media? Read about how young people are having their self-image shaped by the photos they view on social media, and discuss why it is dangerous to buy into the myths of social media.
In many countries around the world the minimum voting age is between 16-18. But is that minimum voting age fair, should it be raised or lowered? What are the arguments for or against raising or lowering the minimum voting age? What would be the benefits or the costs? What about society would look different as a result?
In adopting an internal locus of control, a huge barrier in today’s age is social media. The expectations we set for ourselves based on “the algorithm” distorts realistic expectations. Analyze this study on the impact of social media, isolation, and happiness.
Foster a sense of awareness about different faiths in your community. Organize a cultural fair centered on bringing together different religions, inviting different faith leaders to bring readings, materials, activities, food, and more. Have peers attend and document the similarities and differences of each faith, recognizing how much representation there is in their community.
Highlight excerpts from “The Art of Code - Dylan Beattie”, which demonstrates how nuanced and creative the field of coding is, and how much it takes to develop the applications that govern much of what we do in the modern world. Have students reflect: how are math and science connected to art?
Misleading Graphs is a great resource to help students understand how to lie and mislead with statistics and graphic information. Have students improve upon the examples on the site. Give students a data set and have them create their own “misleading graph”!
Throughout history, leaders, inventors, activists, scientists, and more have been jailed or worse, killed, for their work, often knowing the risks that went into it. Describe why various people are willing to take the ultimate sacrifice to do the work they believe in.
Analyze the impact and efficacy of utilizing social media for marketing. How much would it cost to implement a social media campaign for a hypothetical business? Is it worth paying, or should it all be organic (word of mouth) advertising? How much money would we need to make an impact?
Stories in various mediums (such as books, movies, lyrics, and games) are one of the best ways to develop an emotional connection on perceived harms, bullying, and counteracting hate. Encourage students to share stories of when they’ve felt disrespected, either by other students or by educators, and give them private spaces to share these and learn from each other.
Consider your community and the areas with a lower cost of living. Why is it that those areas have lower property values? What could bring more awareness and sustainability to these areas? Prepare a report.
What will the city of the future look like? Beyond infrastructure and strictly logistics, aesthetics are also incredibly important to a flourishing city. Study different forms of architecture historically and around the world. Then, have students brainstorm their own unique, intriguing, or outright wacky versions of new, modern architecture.
Analyze how mass media influences peoples’ biases and opinions on controversial issues, and help students cultivate ways to encourage critical thinking about media sources.
Making a difference starts by taking initiative. Consider the positive impact of even the most minor actions. By yourself or with a group of like-minded peers, identify a community need and begin a service action campaign, such as picking up litter at a local park or helping a local food bank. Help others join this initiative with you by offering on-ramps to easily team up!
What impact does the fast fashion industry have on a community's economic well-being? Answer the question: Is the fast fashion industry’s profit worth the human price? How would removing the fast fashion industry (or changing business practices such as wages) impact a company’s profits?
Find examples of propaganda, surveillance, or marketing in your neighborhood. Document how these things are used, challenging or supporting their existence.
Demonstrate how artists have been inspired by global art movements over time. Showcase how the development of art movements and intersection of regional developments has led to masterful works over decades and centuries.
Many people who have difficulty seeing or reading information on computers use screen readers to browse the Internet. However, many websites are not designed properly for these screen readers to function. Learn about accessible web design. Perform an audit of your school’s (or community’s) website(s) and offer suggestions to increase accessibility.
Reach out to local businesses and establish a school “job fair”, where learners practice job interview schools with interested companies.
Read about how school affects burn out. This guide written for teachers can be analyzed with students to identify pain points, recognize ways to improve the classroom, and have an open dialogue about stress and frustration.
Research a concept of “future technology” by contacting an academic at a local or regional university. Find a topic that interests you, conduct an interview, and consider the ethical implications of incorporating this idea. Present this idea!
Read about how people fall into homelessness and the struggles that people face, including financial barriers to gaining housing.
How do we break our perspective’s “bubble”? Assign a reading with reflection that goes against one’s opinion or preconceived notions. Of course, students may not change their mind — but challenging their perspective allows them to grow their ideas and consider new possibilities.
Identify a "wicked problem" (a problem that seems impossible to solve) in the world and the various contexts, communities, and perspectives that exist around the topic. Show a diagram of how complicated this issue is, highlighting solutions that minimize potential damages.
Nearly 430 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, making speech and the spoken word difficult to access for about 5% of the global population. There are numerous sign-language alphabets, research which one is used primarily in your community and learn to communicate the basics to improve your ability to interact with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Alternatively, you can start a sign-language club to encourage others to pick up the language!
Designing for disability is a vitally important element of our society. In schools, learning disabilities can often lead to many difficulties, including failure or discipline. Consider, what would your community look like if it centered disabled people? What would you need to account for? What would change? Create a plan that highlights these changes and propose them to your local governance.
Use informal surveys and local contexts or the resources available in this lesson to prepare a class report/presentation on the perception of accents in a particular language(s) in your country or region. How do accents map onto our social understanding of class, race, stereotypes, etc.?
Arcology is a future-driven building initiative to create self-sustaining communities, usually in the form of large, multi-faceted skyscrapers. Check out this link which provides information about the practice. What stands out to students? Is this a viable practice? What would be the alternatives?
For students who struggle with illustration, art can be a daunting task. Challenge students to create collages using magazines and other print media, teaching the principles of design that let the artwork flourish.
Governments are vast systems that are upheld entirely by a social contract: people listen and act according to a series of laws they choose to uphold. How easy would it be to break these laws? Why is it that people decide to go along with them? Consider how laws are enforced, why people follow them, and what impact would be made if people introduced unreasonable laws or enforcement mechanisms.
Finding reliable health and nutrition information is incredibly difficult. There is so much mis- and disinformation about health, nutrition, and fitness. How do you know what to trust? Create a health misinformation guide with students to sort out what is reliable from what is false or potentially harmful. To show that they know the tricks, have them use those tips to create their own health and nutrition disinformation ad or video.
“Tenacity” is often cited as a way of knowing defined by tradition: something is true because it has always been considered true. Authority and intuition are also cited as ways of knowing. What makes science stand out in its foundations, methods, and criteria from other ways of knowing and understanding the world?
Great art is often done in partnership with others. Reach out to local artists to listen, learn, and improve on. Who are the great local artists of your area? What do they specialize in? Research more about them and conduct interviews on their tips and techniques. Then, use this work to inform your own.