Media Can Engage and Entertain

We live in a culture of communication.  Media has only expanded if not exacerbated the forms through which we do so.  Many teachers with access to technology in the classroom have incorporated media into their lessons to share information with, provide examples for, and generally engage students.
With You Tube the go to site for video clips of all kinds, it seems fitting to provide an example from its massive files.  A 3-year-old explains his relationship with his mother to his mother.  The gist - "I like you only when you give me cookies"- but its better than that! Watch:

After the hilarity of the moment, this video is an excellent opening for discussions with children of all ages (and I do mean all, but especially with teens).  Did I hear Aretha humming in the background?  R.E.S.P.E.C.T.s that the remix?  R.E.C.I.P.R.O.C.I.T.Y. 
And the list goes on and on.... (sweetly hummed a la India.Arie)


Newspaper Blackout: Austin Kleon

Newspaper Blackout Poetry - redacting newspaper articles with a magic marker to make poems -  is becoming a popular activity for teaching poetry in English classrooms. Blackout poems, said to be part of the new “remix” culture, are a great entry point for students who keep poetry at arms length and an inticing task for readers and writers alike.  Writer and cartoonist Austin Kleon has created a collection of this "found poetry" or "altered text” in his poetry collection Newspaper Blackout, forthcoming from HarperCollins this month (April 2010). 

Visit his website for samples of poems from the book and checkout his blog for drawings and new blackout poems.  I came across a few poems that I found especially intriguing.  One, machine and memories, I'nve included here in its original form:

AUSTIN KLEON is a writer who draws. His He has drawn for clients such as Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. He works a day job designing websites, and lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife Meghan and their dog Milo. You can see his work online at