meme
Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

This lesson plan, adaptable for grades 4-8, features Creative Coding, a project-based approach to coding that prompts students to show what they know about a topic by using BrainPOP assets. This lesson focuses specifically on the Meme project in which students embellish a video with graphics and text.  

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Program in JavaScript
  2. Apply knowledge of JavaScript objects
  3. Customize objects by changing their properties
  4. Position their memes using the coordinate plane (x-y grid)
  5. Apply their knowledge of a BrainPOP topic

Materials:

Vocabulary:

code, functions, JavaScript, methods, objects, properties, sequence, strings

Preparation:

Preview the Meme tutorial screencast.  

Preview and play with the Meme project. To access, click the Creative Coding button on a BrainPOP topic page. NOTE: You must be logged in with My BrainPOP on individual accounts.

For help getting started and other support resources, such as differentiation and collaboration tips, review the Creative Coding Teaching Resources.

Preview the associated BrainPOP topic movie.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Memes are everywhere these days. Ask students what they know about them. Their ideas might differ from one student to the next. Make sure they understand that a meme is a funny picture or video to which someone has added words. Ask students to discuss memes they’ve seen or created themselves. Tell them that the meme project they’re going to do today is most closely associated with the “image macro” type of meme. Google “doge” or “lolcat” to show some examples on the whiteboard. Also, point out that memes often have a hint of humor, and encourage them to consider this when creating their memes, unless of course the topic does not lend itself to humor.
  2. Display the Meme project for the topic you’re studying on the whiteboard. Read aloud the prompt at the top of the screen. Let students know that there is more than one way to respond to the prompt, and that they should be as creative as they can. Explain that memes can be a very effective way to communicate an idea, especially when using big, bold capital letters.
  3. Review related terminology with the class as follows. If you’ve already taught these terms in previous projects, then begin by asking them what the term means (e.g., What’s a function?). Otherwise, share the terms:

    Functions are the main way of getting things done in JavaScript. A function is an action that has a name. Functions are written in parentheses.

    Objects hold your data. Use yourself as an example of an object.

    teacher

    Properties are the elements that are about the object, or belong to the object. You can think of properties as being like nouns and adjectives. Here are some of your properties (have the class volunteer more once they get the pattern):

    teacher.height = 5.5; teacher.favColor = "blue"; teacher.name = “Ms. Miller”;

    Methods are functions that belong to an object, or things the object can do.You can think of methods as being like verbs. For example, movie.play() is telling the movie object to run its play method. 

    Explain to students that they can tell a property from a method because methods are always followed by parentheses, just like functions. Sometimes they have arguments, and sometimes they don't. If you have time, invite students come up with their own properties and methods.
  4. Before beginning their Meme projects, show the related BrainPOP movie on the whiteboard for the whole class to watch.
  5. Working individually or in pairs, have students review the video and graphic options to use in their meme in the assets panel on  the lower right. While they’re deciding, distribute the Meme Planning Sheet.
  6. After selecting their video and graphics, have students flip over the planning sheet to the back write ideas for the text they want to put on their meme. Once they decide, instruct them to flip to use the planning sheet to sketch out how they’ll place their text on the video and graphics they’ve chosen.
  7. If necessary, you can model the first few steps of the project on the whiteboard as students follow along at their computers or devices.
  8. Tell the class that memes are meant to be shared; the whole point is that they “go viral.”’ Make a class meme gallery! Print out your students’ memes and hang them on the wall.

Extension Activities:

Challenge students to expand on their projects by exploring the options in the Need Help tab at the bottom of the left panel. These tips are only a starting point. Creative Coding is a full JavaScript editor, so students can customize their projects as they would like.
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