I always tell my students, “Everyone loves a mash-up.” It’s basic neuroscience at its best. Our brains pay attention to what is novel, look for patterns, and seek to make connections.
I wanted to help my students get a better understanding of theme. I gave them a choice of two tweets to work with. By mashing the ideas from a short story we read and film we watched with a current news article and video of a living sculpture, the students flexed their thinking about theme in a deeper and broader sense. The discussions were rich and gave me the opportunity to do some on-the-spot reteaching.