I thought these tips were especially helpful to someone who wants to bring pop culture into the classroom, because it gives a standard of what is helpful and what is pandering, plus it gives such an important reminder: you don't have to know everything about pop culture to connect to it in a real way.
I love these ideas because they are so relatable to whatever's popular at the time. I have some personal success with the idea about sales, too. I have never seen a classroom light up so much over the idea of having a "shopping day" where they spent part of the period on online stores examining just what persuasive techniques the retailers use. There's so much cultural studying you can do through these lenses, too, which is so important for English, history, and foreign languages.
This article focuses on morals and "clean" pop culture analysis, but it's an interesting look at the climate of schools, their students, and how you can turn something potentially inappropriate into a conversation, a learning opportunity, or even a parallel to subjects in English and history classes. (Note: This site requires registration to see a few free articles)
I love this article's idea of using a list of trends as a starting point for research, discussions, or creative sparks. Overall, these ideas address the idea that what happens, in reality, can have an impact on what happens in the classroom in a really creative way.
These ideas are heavily focused on English, but there's a lot of fun to be had by playing with songs, synthesizing comparisons (Snooki to The Wife of Bath, who'd have thought?), and using a lot of creativity with these ideas. It also has a few links to examples of successful English lessons using pop culture and songs for anyone interested in looking them over.
This article takes a focus off of specific pop culture and puts a specific, critical lens to mass media and marketing. It is a really great lesson in media awareness, 21st-century skills, and rhetoric that can be useful both in- and outside the classroom, but all it usually requires is a good set of inquiry lessons and access to something like YouTube to find the ads.
These lessons tie in from elementary to high school teaching, and they're really high-quality multimedia lessons. I haven't used them personally, but they ask the right questions and have good plans. It could be especially interesting if a school or system decided to implement these lessons across the grade levels since they build upon each other.
A fascinating lesson in civics and rhetoric that focuses on politics and election debates. It not only examines the roles of media and technology as they have impacted how we communicate about politics, but it also feels especially pertinent in election years such as 2016. This has some great attached resources and is incredibly relevant with the multimedia campaigns of 2016.