Documentaries, Biopics, and Reality Television
Chapter 9. “Make It Work”: Incorporating Reality Television into the Classroom
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“MAKE IT WORK”
Incorporating Reality Television into the Classroom
At the end of each spring semester, my preservice teachers are finishing their student teaching internships and are anxious for practical lessons that will help prepare them for their first teaching jobs. Given their desire, I took some time several years ago to construct a lesson I thought they might find useful. I asked them to envision what materials they felt they would need to outfit their new classrooms. How would they collect and store student work? Did they have a favorite type of pen they liked to use while grading? I asked students to put together a shopping list, complete with prices, and bring it to class. My plan was to discuss the high cost of supplies and the minimal budget their schools might give them to set up their classrooms. A lesson I thought would be relevant and engaging soon became tedious as each student rattled off a long list with prices. It was difficult for us to picture some of the supplies students referenced without actually having a photo, and we often spent time searching for images of them on the classroom computer. I was ready to drop the lesson altogether until I was inspired by reality television to make over my lesson.
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