Prezi’s Features Integrate Content and Pop Culture

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A while back, I co-planned a thematic unit on heroism for ninth grade English students . The students were reading excerpts from Homer’s The Odyssey, and the classroom teacher and I hoped to introduce the concept of archetypes to them in an interesting way.  Learning about archetypes helps students understand how universal themes, symbols, and conflicts repeat across cultures and time periods.

Because students are usually motivated by media (a “super peer,” as Renee Hobbs calls it), we decided that connecting traditional archetypes with modern-day film archetypes might help students activate and connect to background knowledge. In the past, both of us have discussed film connections with students, but using clips allowed us to build concepts from mutual, shared experiences. We decided that Prezi would be a great presentation tool for this goal.

Prezi can seamlessly integrate music, film clips, and photos into presentations. Due to the wide array of presentation options, Prezis often take longer to create than PowerPoints. However, the results  are dynamic presentations that engage students. Prezi can also be utilized as an instructional tool for students participating in online courses.  In addition, students love creating Prezis themselves. Prezis can easily be shared through e-mail addresses with collaborators, and they can be worked on simultaneously by several members of a group.

We were really proud of the product we created, and I’ve shared it with several colleagues. The presentation can be used as one interactive lecture, or it can be broken down to be used as mini-lessons as students encounter new archetypes as they read The Odyssey. 

Students have found it fun to discuss the examples in the Prezi, and they have readily identified other examples of archetypes from other print and non-print texts. In the future, I’d like to have students build a similar archetype presentation with their own selections of cultural images.

Check it our archetype Prezi, and please use it if you like it!

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