We started our class by recapping last week’s field trip for the girls who couldn’t join us. Overall, they were all super excited about R/GA and its work. Thanks again to Chloe, Chris, Bertha and the others who hosted us and made the day really special for the girls.
Jumping right into our lesson, Carmen led a discussion about the concept of “mobile.” What does it mean if something is mobile? What are some things we use mobile devices for, other than texting or making calls? There were all kinds of ideas that came up, including watching videos, listening to music, using the internet, and also going to a museum or exhibit and using a mobile device there.
In preparation for our class activity we discussed the most basic elements of a story: establishing context, conflict, and resolution. The girls knew a lot already from English class, and they were quickly able to pick apart the key elements of any story.
We divided the girls into groups and had them work together to act out a few scenarios. The catch? They had to randomly choose a year in which to act it out.
- PAST 1990: No cell phone, no personal computer, no text messaging. (You can use: Phone booths, which cost 25 cents per call, the people around you, paper maps, cable television, a walkman, landlines, etc.)
- PRESENT 2010: Cell phone, GPS, personal computer, internet, texting, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.
- FUTURE 2030: Assume you will have everything you have today, and whatever you can imagine. What will you have? What would you like to be able to do?
- You’re meeting a friend at the movies tonight. You’ve already made plans. How will you find each other once you get there?
- You’re late for school. How will you let your parent or guardian and the school know you won’t get there on time?
- You’re at Foot Locker checking out a new pair of sneakers. You want to compare the cost of the Nikes to the Sauconys you saw at the Sports Authority. How will you find the prices?
- You get to your neighborhood subway stop and see that the train isn’t running. How will you find an alternate route?
- You just left your friend’s house after hanging out all afternoon and you can’t find your way back to the subway. Assuming you can’t go back to your friend’s house, how will you find your way home?
- You are a design intern and you are delivering a package for your boss. When you get to the office, the receptionist tells you that the name of the person that you are suppose to deliver the package to does not work there. How do you get the package to the right person?
- You are going to take the train to Philadelphia. You need to purchase your ticket for the train, but the line is really long and the train leaves in 15 min! How can you purchase a ticket for the train?
- Your friend is coming over for dinner and you know they love deviled eggs. Unfortunately, you don’t know how to boil egg! How can you find out how to boil eggs?
We encouraged them to incorporate emotions and a variety of characters into their skits, posing the challenge to add richness to the story by making up details that enhance the plot. For example, what does the phrase “You’re late to school” really mean? How can you communicate the anxiety you feel in that scenario in a way that is compelling for the audience?
It was really interesting from our side of things to see which girls took the lead in their groups. Just like in our classes, and it collaborative groups anywhere, each group had one person who led the sketch. In most cases we weren’t surprised to see who it was.
In the end they could clearly see the value in acting something out. They were pleased with the ability to describe their ideas over time, and to communicate about technology and new ideas in a way that actively holds the audience’s attention.