If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students considered the implications of people seeking fame. In class students brainstormed how people can use social media to become famous and what the negative consequences of fame could be. In groups students developed a plan using social media to make someone famous and read an article about the experiences of real teenagers who gained fame using social media.
Getting Ready for the Conversation
Many high school-aged students seek fame and attention, but do not always consider the consequences of becoming famous or drawing attention to themselves. In this lesson students consider the effects of fame or attention on social media.
It is normal for adolescents to be interested in famous people, particularly in pop culture. For more information regarding what is normal and what could be concerning check out this article in the online magazine Healthline by Lisa Baker:
For a nuanced look at fame check out this article at Psychology Today by Michael F. Schein:
Constructive Conversation Starters
The first item is for follow-up after participating in class activities.
Tell us about your group’s plan for making one of the teens (Aja, Daron or Claudine) famous? Why did your group choose this person? What do you think would have happened to this person if this had been real? Why?
How important is it to fit in or be seen as an influencer? Why?
What would be the downside of having a huge social media following? Why so?
What are some good rules for critiquing social media posts you see? Why are these good rules?
What is the appropriate place for social media in our culture? Why do you think so?
School to Home Resources on Obsessed with Fame
Interactive Reflections and Lesson Plans often cover broader themes than the competency named. All CWK stories are multi-faceted and are meant to prompt deep conversation.
1. Post the following 1968 quotation by pop-artist Andy Warhol: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Ask students to discuss this quotation using any/all of the following questions:
- Do you think this is true today? Why or why not?
- Why the 15 minutes? Is it a true 15 minutes or a symbolic 15 minutes? Explain.
- How do people become world-famous?
- What do you need to be able to do to be famous? Why?
- Has it become a goal of people to become world-famous? Explain your answer.
- What is the difference between being famous and being respected?
2. Share another quotation by Ryan Seacrest, who became a media personality and well-known host of American Idol: “This is America, where everyone has the right to life, love and the pursuit of fame.” Explain that in today’s session, students will work on a plan for fame using social media.
3. Break the class into groups of three or four people and distribute one Quick Fame worksheet to each group
4. Read the challenge:
Three friends have challenged each other to see who can become famous quickly. The only problem is, they don’t seem to have any particular, stand out talents. They don’t sing or dance particularly well, they are not big sports stars, and they are not rich enough to buy fame. But that’s not going to stop them!
The friends agree that each person must provide measurable evidence of their fame, and they need to show a social media presence and it must be accomplished in one week’s time.
5. Have groups brainstorm plans for each of the three people in the challenge. This should take them approximately 15-20 minutes.
6. Gather back as a group to share their plans. What do the plans have in common? How do they differ?
7. Ask if anyone stopped to think about the possible repercussions of fame using social media. What could be the downside of fame? Is this ever a consideration when one is driven to seek fame? Why or why not?
8. Distribute copies of the New York Times article “No Stardom Till After Homework” and ask students to compare and contrast the story to their Quick Fame plans. Does the article reveal any information they should have considered in their plans? Did any of their plans include parental involvement? Why or why not? Did any of their plans take negative responses into consideration? Why or why not?
Close with a discussion, asking the following question: Is fame more important than a sense of community or being part of a group in today’s world? Are we Americans addicted to fame?
As an extension, show the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsvaQR9hKDI&app=desktop Discuss how this video exemplifies America’s addiction to fame.
Fame, Facebook, and Twitter: How Attitudes About Fame Predict Frequency and Nature of Social Media Use https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/ppm-0000013.pdf
Kids Want Fame More Than Anything Else www.huffingtonpost.com/…t…/kids-want-fame_b_1201935.html