Memes

A popular way of expression on the internet is through memes. If your students are adolescents, teenagers, or even in their twenties and they have regular access to the internet, chances are they see memes quite frequently. If these are already a part of their lives, why not take the opportunity to use them to practice English?

Have your students go to a meme generator site (you might want to try a few out first so that you can direct your students to a particular site). You’ll need to follow the directions on the site, but most likely it’ll involve selecting the image of a preexisting meme and typing in new words to accompany it (or selecting the words of a preexisting meme and including a new image to fit).

The image chosen will probably depend on whatever memes are popular at the moment, but students can also fall back on others they remember if they like. Memes generally have themes, or at least a pattern to how the words are expressed; make sure students follow those patterns when choosing their own memes.

Keep in mind that some memes have odd sentence structure. You may need to discuss with your class how the grammar is unusual or even wrong in normal English and let them know when they can use it and when they shouldn’t.

This project could be done individually or in pairs. You could have the students create five different memes in one sitting, or have them do fifteen spread out over a couple weeks. However many they do, students should choose a different image for each, and they should express a different sentiment for each.

BONUS:

This may be tricky, but if you have a rather creative class, you can create an entirely new meme. You might base it off something the students are interested in at the moment, or some sort of inside joke your class has (perhaps a reference to something they recently experienced). Choose an image and a theme for everyone to use, then have each student write their own words to it. Conversely, you could choose the words that everyone has to use, then each student picks a different image to accompany it (perhaps changing the wording only slightly).

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