Knowledge Banks

Science goes pop

Home » Knowledge Banks » Science goes pop

To obtain this article

If you are a subscriber to any of our other publications your existing account details can be used to purchase this article. Simply login with your username and password when prompted.

For assistance and general enquiries, call our sales team on 0121 224 7599
 

Science goes pop


Children love films, TV shows and computer games, but how can we harness this enthusiasm in the classroom? Discover the links between science and popular culture with a series of cross-curricular activities and resources.

Children love films, TV shows, computer games and books. If you pick the right ones, they can also teach children a lot about the world. Or at very least inspire kids to find out more.

Contrary to traditional belief, popular culture is not the enemy of good teaching. Nor of creativity. Just encourage children to look beyond the superficial, in the action and outcome, towards deeper themes and concepts – to see context and the bigger picture. If something looks fantastic in a film, book, or TV show, how is it explained? How does it work? And most importantly, what links does it have to what is, was, or might soon be going on in the real world?

Popular culture can tell us about technology, maths, history, geography… pretty much anything really. It can help us engage with the world. It’s interesting, entertaining, but look deep enough and there are serious themes.

Science, in particular, permeates popular culture – especially with the current popularity of superhero and dystopian genres. Of course, the writers use a great deal of creative licence in these films, TV shows, books and video games, but look past that and you’ll see links to a wide range of science topics.

This project aims to highlight some of those links. Although mainly science-based, the activities are cross-curricular in nature and can be used with pupils in Key Stages 2-4. A few activities are appropriate for use with younger children also.

Existing subscribers to the Creative Teaching and Learning Service can download all activities below. Please remember to log in first.


Non-subscribers:

Click here to subscribe to the Creative Teaching and Learning service and gain access to these resource packs.

OR

Purchase this project for a one-off fee of £40 plus VAT. See the top of this page for details.


 

Related Articles

PDF

Project Plan: Science goes pop!

Using popular culture in the classroom can be a great way to hook children into topics they might not otherwise engage with. Crispin Andrews joins forces with the team at Creative Teaching and Learning to provide a series of cross-curricular activities related to recent films, video games and more – with a particular focus on science.
MS Word

Activity 1 Resource Pack: Extinct and endangered animals

Science goes pop! Activity 1. A research activity focusing on the reasons for the extinction and endangerment of animals both past and present.
spacer
MS Word

Activity 2 Resource Pack: The impact of extinction

Science goes pop! Activity 2. A series of activities exploring food chains, food webs, the impact of extinction on other organisms and pyramids of numbers.
MS Word

Activity 3 Resource Pack: Conservation or de-extinction?

Science goes pop! Activity 3. Pupils research and write an argument for or against scientists trying to use genetic engineering to bring back extinct animals.
spacer
MS Word

Activity 4 Resource Pack: Hyena focus project (and Savannah food web)

Science goes pop! Activity 4. Pupils research the spotted hyena and fill in a fact file with information such as diet, habitat and family life. They then create a Savannah food web to further examine the hyena’s role as hunter and scavenger.
Unknown Type

Activity 5a Resource Pack: Classifying animals (KS1/2)

Science goes pop! Activity 5a. Pupils work together to classify a range of animals into the five vertebrate groups.
spacer
Unknown Type

Activity 5b Resource Pack: Classifying animals (KS2/3)

Science goes pop! Activity 5b. Pupils create a dichotomous key designed to help younger children classify animals into the five vertebrate groups.
MS Word

Activity 6 Resource Pack: Intelligent animals

Science goes pop! Activity 6. Pupils explore the behaviours and skills that make an animal (or human) ‘intelligent’.
spacer
MS Word

Activity 7 Resource Pack: Our closest relatives?

Science goes pop! Activity 7. Pupils write an article for teen science magazine, The Helix, comparing humans with chimpanzees.
MS Word

Activity 8 Resource Pack: Can science give us utopia?

Science goes pop! Activity 8. Pupils debate whether advances in science and technology can create utopia.
spacer
MS Word

Activity 9 Resource Pack: Futuristic fuels

Science goes pop! Activity 9. A series of worksheets exploring renewable and non-renewable energy resources. The activity culminates with pupils selecting and researching three renewable energy sources that they believe could provide clean, green energy in a utopian future.
Unknown Type

Activity 10 Resource Pack: Making mazes

Science goes pop! Activity 10. Pupils design and draw various types of mazes to share and solve.
spacer
MS Word

Activity 11 Resource Pack: Design a human

Science goes pop! Activity 11. Pupils consider the attributes and skills that make a person a good leader, before deciding which are inherited and which are learnt.
Unknown Type

Activity 12 Resource Pack: What happens next?

Science goes pop! Activity 12. Images and sound immerse pupils in the story of a group of early humans who are attacked by a Komodo dragon. The pupils plan and write a piece of creative writing to show what happens next.
spacer
MS Word

Activity 13 Resource Pack: Timeline of human ancestors

Science goes pop! Activity 13. Pupils research human ancestors and create a timeline, adding in information about how each hominid lived and their position in the stone/metal ages.
MS Word

Activity 14 Resource Pack: How do they compare?

Science goes pop! Activity 14. A series of maths activities based around comparisons between early and modern humans, and a range of extinct and modern animals.
spacer
MS Word

Activity 15 Resource Pack: Caveman maths

Science goes pop! Activity 15. Pupils solve a series of mathematical word problems related to the hunting and gathering habits of early man.
MS Word

Activity 16 Resource Pack: Tracking the orang pendek

Science goes pop! Activity 16. Pupils write a diary as an explorer in the Sumatran jungle tracking the orang pendek.
spacer
MS Word

Activity 17 Resource Pack: Mapping the mysteries

Science goes pop! Activity 17. Pupils research legends of hairy human-like creatures and plot them on a world map.
MS Word

Activity 18 Resource Pack: The missing link?

Science goes pop! Activity 18. Pupils research the legendary yeti of the Himalayas and write an argument for or against its existence.
spacer
spacer
spacer