Signs of the Times-lesson plan.doc

September 5, 2017 | Author: nouna | Category: Symbols, Semiotics, Psychological Concepts, Psychology & Cognitive Science, Epistemology
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“Signs of the Times” Lesson Plans Angela Bazan Deerfield High School Introduction: In April of 2008, I was fortunate enough to attend a twoweek field study throughout Germany with the Atlantik-Brucke organization. While in Germany, I was struck by all of the different signs displayed throughout daily life- in the streets, shops, museums, hotels, etc. I started wondering what these signs represented about the German people and their culture and how my students would interpret them. Objectives:  Students will understand the difference between signs and symbols and the types of each in society.  Students will understand the study of semiotics and its relation to cultural symbols.  Students will be able to identify signs and symbols in daily life and the cultural value of each. Step 1: Introduce students to the ideas of signs and symbols by having them answer the first 5 questions on the assignment sheet- when they are finished, have a class discussion on their answers to those questions:   

Where do you see signs in your daily life? What purpose do signs serve in society? Are all signs universal? If not, how do we agree on what they mean? What can we tell about a culture by the signs they use? What is the difference between a sign and a symbol?

  Step 2: Showing students slides 2 & 3, discuss the different types of signs they see in daily life, as well as the idea of Semiotics- the study of the meaning of signs and symbols. Discuss the difference between Symbol, Icon and Index and have students come up with examples of each based off of their previous discussion.

Step 3: Show students slides 4-34 that are of different signs throughout Germany and have them guess what they think they mean on their assignment sheet. When students are done, have them share their answers aloud, while providing the correct answers from the key. Discuss why some of their answers or interpretations may be different. What can they ‘tell’ about this culture/society by looking at these signs? Step 4: Have students look at slides 35-61 of more abstract symbols and have them fill out their guesses as to what they symbolize/mean on their worksheets. Again, have them share their ideas as a class and discuss what they really are from the answer key. Were these easier or harder to interpret than the signs? What were some of the overall themes they represented? Could these apply to any culture? Step 5: Have students complete the last few questions on their worksheet.  After viewing these photos, what can you now tell about this culture? What questions do you still have?  Did these photos help or hurt your understanding of this culture? Why do you think that is?  Did your interpretation of the photos match those of your classmates? Why/why not?  What role do signs and symbols play in culture overall? Once again, discuss as a class- have their interpretations of this culture changed from the beginning of this assignment? Why don’t all people view signs/symbols the same? How can we use signs/symbols to learn more about a culture overall? Step 6: Assign the additional signs/symbols assignment for students to go out and find and analyze signs/symbols in their own communities and daily lives. Based on your class time, you may want to give a few days or a long weekend for this assignment. Have students share what they found when it is dueand compare to the German society: what similarities and differences can they draw between the two? Do signs/symbols play the same role in each society- why/why not?

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