by Fallon Russell
Over the past two weeks, Pop Culture students have participated in many discussions, debates, and field trips while studying a decade every day, beginning with the mid 1800’s. In addition, the class has been watching films that correspond with each decade. Students observe and analyze themes such as gender, class, and race and then compare and contrast the themes observed over time in movies from Gone With the Wind to Mean Girls.
So far, we have been on three local field trips: to the Kentucky Museum, the offices of The Bowling Green Daily News, and the WKU TV and radio stations. Student Bradfield Ross of Benton said, “I was very surprised going to the college radio and TV station. I had assumed it would be a small operation, but it was actually pretty large.” During our trip to the American History Smithsonian in Washington DC, students will be giving reports over a selected object on display to explain how their item influenced popular culture in America.
An ongoing activity our class has been doing is Pop Madness. This is a bracket-style debate activity where students argue which item holds the most cultural significance. Each student is responsible for researching 4-5 pop culture icons in the categories of people, events, objects, and entertainment. Some of the icons still in the running are Walter Cronkite, The Cold War, McDonald’s, and Steamboat Willie.
To wrap up our final week together, our class is looking forward to projects such as creating pop art, dancing through the decades, and painting a class mural.