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personal values, social media



Enduring Understandings:

Students will understand that…

• It can be challenging to maintain your personal values in the world of social media.


Essential Questions:

• How are your personal values challenged by social media?

• Why is it difficult to uphold your personal values when on social media?


Students will know that:

• Most people live by a set of values (a.k.a. standards, beliefs, codes of conduct) that are personal to them.

• People’s values are influenced by friends, family, religion, society, social media.

• People may not always maintain their personal values when using social media.

• There can be a subtext (unspoken thoughts and motives) to the words and images people choose to express themselves on social media much like the subtext of a character’s dialogue.


Students will be able to:

• Identify what values are important to them.

• Identify what influences and challenges their values.

• Physically represent what a value means to them.

• Analyze the subtext of what people post on social media much like they analyze the subtext of a character’s dialogue.

• Infer a character’s values from their dialogue/subtext; create dialogue/subtext for a character based on knowing their values


Performance Tasks:
• Choose a value that they most exemplify in their lives through Object In Center exercise

• In groups, create a tableau to represent a value that’s important to them.

• Write a monologue about a time when their values were challenged.

• Create a scene using dialogue and subtext based on a Facebook status

• Create a character study of a character from a play in the form of a social media profile.


Other Evidence:

• Participation in discussions.


Summary of Learning Activities:


1) Status Check-In:

  1. Instead of writing names on nametags, students take a sticker and write a hashtag answering the question “What’s the theme of your day so far?”

  2. Join the sound & movement circle for “Pass The Emoji” where they will bring to life an emoji that represents how they’re feeling at the moment and pass it around.


2) Values Check-In:

  1. Object In Center exercise: Read quotes about values (E.g. “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” #Honesty) and ask students to place themselves closer to the center if they strongly identify with the statement and further away if they don’t. (“Which quote did you most strongly identify with? Or which quote do you feel you most exemplify in your life?”)


  1. Divide students into groups based on which value quote they most strongly identified with. Each group discusses what the quote means to them, decides on a hashtag that represents the value expressed by the quote, then creates a mantra/chant with movement to demonstrate this to the class. After each cheer/chant is presented, other groups guess what their hashtag is.

  2. As a class, discuss: How is that value challenged in your everyday life? With your family? With friends? With social media?


3) Monologue Check-In:

  1. Give students small pieces of paper. Ask them to write a short monologue about a time when one of their values was challenged and they had to decide whether to compromise that value or not. What happened? Did you compromise? Why or why not?

  2. Take that monologue and create a one-sentence Facebook status that you would be willing to post on social media about this experience.

  3. Turn to a partner and discuss how your story changed from monologue to status? Did the content change? Did the tone change? Why?


4) Subtext of a Status:

  1. Have students post their statuses on the “Facebook” wall posters and play a few rounds of “Speed Commenting.” Give them 1 minute to read each other’s statuses and “like,” comment or add an emoji sticker. Then 1 minute to return to their post, read comments, and like or comment. Repeat as necessary to build conversation threads.

  2. Ask students to scan all threads and stand in front of the one they would most like to dramatize (“bring to life”). Assign students to play the “characters.” Decide where the scene is taking place and what the characters are doing). Assign other students to voice the SUBTEXT (what the characters really think or believe but aren’t saying).

  3. Discussion: What’s different about the way people represent themselves on social media versus how they are in real life? How does social media challenge your personal values?


Optional activity that connects lesson to current Unit of Study…

5) Character Profile:

Ask students to pick one of the characters from a play we’ve been studying and create a social media profile for that character. Provide images to use for profile photo and background photo. Have them fill in the “About” sections: Work & Education, Places You’ve Lived, Family & Relationships, etc. Ask them to include a status update about a challenging situation they face in their story and a hashtag expressing the value most important to them.


6) Updated Status: Ask students to reevaluate the status they put on their nametags and change it, if necessary, based on how they’re feeling after the work they’ve done in class.

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