Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dance Movies, English Majors, and Six Word Stories

For this week's blogs, we were instructed to not freely write about education like usual, but to write about a lesson plan we have learned in class, as well as the class readings.  When reflecting upon the different digital media lessons we have learned so far in the semester, I found myself chuckling, thinking of the movie Save the Last Dance 2.  In one of the opening scenes of this sub-par sequel to one of the greatest dance-movies ever made, Save the Last Dance, Sarah enters her class at Julliard on Hip Hop Theory.  The professor is sick, and a young, handsome "guest lecturer" asks the class to define Hip Hop.  He uses recording equipment and loops the students voices so "Hip Hop is..." plays on repeat.  He fills in the blank each time, creating a rap, saying, "Hip Hop is: rap.  Hip Hop is: funk.  Hip Hop is: R&B.  Hip Hop is: an attitude, a culture."  This goes on for a few minutes, picking up speed, adrenaline, and groove, enticing the class and the viewers of this film.  He then cuts all the music and says, "Hip Hop can be defined with three words: I. Am. Here."  Cut to the class' shocked and awe-filled faces, end scene.

As English majors, we tend to be long winded.  I never intend for my entries to be very long, but somehow you always have to scroll to read the whole thing.  My papers tend to be multiple pages, and my text messages are always obnoxiously lengthy.  It's in our nature.  However, one of the lessons presented in class placed constraints on this habit.  Six Word Stories.  Students get six words to express themselves, as well as a picture.  I love this idea, and I fully intend to use it in my classroom someday.  Sure, ten/ fifteen page research papers are necessary, but so is the ability to make your words count.  You can define Hip Hop with a rap, verses on verses of words attempting to explain the culture, attitude, feeling, and different genres within the term.  Or you can use one sentence, three strong words, and sum up everything: "I am here."  If you could only use six words to describe yourself, your situation, or something in your life, what words would you chose?  You're thinking, aren't you?  Counting?  Six words.  One chance.  Choose wisely.

1 comment:

  1. Kara,

    I hope you take this as a compliment, but as I read your post I could completely visualize your classroom....complete with a bulletin board that says SIX WORDS. ONE CHANCE. CHOOSE WISELY. And on this board are posted 6 word summaries of stories by students, or 6 word introductions.

    Just wanted to say I loved that phrase. or should i say GOOD IDEA. FUTURE CLASSROOM. USE IT.