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    Memes: Survival of the FittestJacqueline Perry & Zachary Ramsey

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    Memes: Survival of the Fittest

    Memetics 101Better Living through Mutation

    NetiquetteInfection is Imminent

    Humans are copy-cats. We like to imitate each others behaviors and even ideas.Pretend you are in front of your classmates imitating a scene from a new comedy.Because you made people laugh, your friends and classmates may copy the act too.They may imitate the act for other people, and those people may imitate the act for evenmore people. This is how behaviors and ideas spread through society. Any behaviorsor ideas that are spread through imitation are called: memes. This unit will examinememes and how they create the world we live in.

    Jacqueline Perry and Zachary RamseySPED 6402 Spring 2012East Carolina University

    18 March 2012

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    CONTENT RESEARCH PAPER

    Memes and Mankind:

    Whos Pulling the Strings?

    Jacqueline Perry and Zachary Ramsey

    East Carolina University

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    Memes have been around as long as people have. They hid in plain sight capitalizing on

    our tendency toward imitation. Once we became infected, it was too late to stop their spread.

    Now our only hope is to determine the nature of memes and find a way to harness their power

    for the future of humanity.

    First recorded in 1976 by Richard Dawkins, memes are information passed from person

    to person by imitation. The term replication is often used to describe how memes are copied

    from person to person. Replication is the sole purpose for the existence of memes. They are like

    genes in this regard. They only exist for the selfish reason of replication. The ones that are best

    at this function can be called the fittest, as in survival of the fittest. Memes have no

    conscience, and therefore cannot tell whether or not they are beneficial or detrimental to their

    host, and if they could, would not care as long as it did not interfere with their ability to replicate

    (Dawkins).

    In Susan Blackmores (1999) book, The Meme Machine , she implies that imitation is the

    basis of meme diffusion. Because humans have an uncanny ability to imitate one another, this is

    a particularly beneficial way for memes to replicate. However, this type of copying does not

    always manifest itself in overt imitation. For example, it might be easy to detect a person

    imitating anothers behavior, like observing a person copying anothers cartwheel, but it would

    be difficult to determine whether or not someone imitated an abstract idea, like string theory.

    When a person imitates another, whether its invisible imitation, like with ideas, or observable

    imitation, the end result is the same: the imitator is infected with the meme he or she copied.

    Richard Brodie (2009) relates three ways infection occurs: conditioning, cognitive

    dissonance, and Trojan horses. According to Brodie (2009), The Trojan horse method of

    programming works by getting you to pay attention to one meme, then sneaking in a whole

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    bundle of others along with it (p. 132). Consider the following generic, fictional radio

    advertisement:

    Charter school spokesperson: You like your children, right? You want your kids to get

    the best education, dont you? Then why would you send them into a failing public

    school system when you could send them to a charter school, where we care about your

    children?

    The Trojan horse in this case is your children. The memes, stripped down to their cores, that

    sneak in are: public education is bad and charter schools are good. While the attention of a

    parent is captured by the initial questions, the memes at the end of the advertisement steal in and

    infect the brain.

    Cognitive dissonance, which involves conflicting ideas and resolution, is another tricky

    way memes crawl into your brain. If you have one idea, like the earth is flat , and another idea

    enters, like the explorer sailed around the world and did not fall off or reach the edge , youve

    created an internal conflict with competing ideas. To correct the problem, Brodie (2009)

    suggests, You resolve the conflict, or dissonance, by creating new memes, by rearranging your

    memetic programming so that things make sense again (p. 126). To alleviate the conflict, one

    creates a new meme: the earth is round , or the explorer is a sorcerer . Whether its right or

    wrong makes no difference as long as the dissonance is quelled.

    According to Brodie (2009), the third method of infection, conditioning, involves

    programming by repetition (127). Slogans are great examples of how memes infect humans

    through conditioning. They are good at rooting themselves in our brains so that we replay them

    mentally and spread them to others. For example, if you hear Im loving it, and immediately

    the corresponding tune pops into your head, or you think of the fast-food chain with the big

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    yellow M , youve been infected. Have you ever seen a commercial you thought was funny and

    then told a friend about it? If so, you may have infected your friend with that meme.

    As it turns out, friends are great at infecting friends with memes (Brodie, 2009).

    Research conducted by Backstrom, Bakshy, Klienberg, Lento, & Rosenn (2011) shows that

    individuals are more likely to post messages on their friends Facebook page if they are close

    friends. Due to their gregarious nature, humans constantly infect each other with memes, even

    in the virtual space of the Web. Obviously, the Internet is not the only medium for memetic

    infection; its only the most recent addition to the memetic arsenal for diffusion.

    One reason memes can spread so easily is that almost any interaction between people is

    an opportunity for memetic replication. If a person tells a story and another person retells that

    story, a meme has spread. Songs make great memes. Jokes, hair-dos, clothing styles, teaching

    practices, and almost anything else thats imitable can be spread as memes.

    When memes spread, they are not always copied with perfect fidelity. Language is a

    great example of how memes change over time. The English language presents us with a

    wonderful example of memetic mutation. The earliest English language would be

    unrecognizable to many of us, and even Chaucers English in his Canterbury Tales is a distant

    approximation of our current language. Americans and British individuals each speak English,

    but still manage to have distinct differences in their speech. These changes are a result of

    mutations that occur when memes replicate.

    Another way to illustrate how memetic mutation occurs is to use the childrens game

    which has many names including password and telephone , among other equally apt names.

    Regardless of what it is called, the game revolves around the passing of a phrase from person to

    person, down a line. The first person selects a phrase, like the quick brown fox jumped over the

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    lazy dog, and by the time its passed down the line the phrase has become unrecognizable.

    Memetic replication behaves this way. When first copied, memes generally have high fidelity,

    but after several removes from the original, the idea becomes a shadow of its former self.

    Sometimes mutations are good and humanity is rewarded. Other times, the result is less

    fortunate. Remember, memes dont have a conscience, and their only goal is replication, so it

    happens sometimes that a meme is disastrous. For example, the concept of eugenics might have

    both positive and negative aspects, but when it swept through Nazi Germany, the meme fatally

    mutated into one of destruction, which resulted in the Holocaust.

    Obviously it wasnt just one single meme that led to one of the darkest stains on

    humanitys rap sheet, but rather a complex group of memes that worked together to replicate.

    These types of group structures are referred to by Susan Blackmore (1999) as memeplexes . A

    positive example of the replication and mutation of memeplexes is the evolution of

    communication. As a society, we have come a long way from the oral storytelling traditions of

    the past. Now we can upload videos to the Internet for millions to see and video chat with

    friends across the globe any time we want. Because we continue to make advancements in the

    area of communication, we can share more information faster than ever before. This means

    more memes and memeplexes (try saying that three times fast!). These types of mutations,

    multiplied by the thousands, or even millions, are the catalysts for the evolution of culture. Now

    the question becomes, who is in control: us or the memes?

    When explaining the nature of memes, Aunger (2002) says this type of replicator is a

    puppeteer pulling invisible strings that direct aspects of the communication process. This

    puppeteer is the information packet itself, evolved to manipulate its carriers for its own ends,

    the ends of the meme being replication (pp. 12-13). The sole purpose for a memes existence is

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    to be copied. This is a similarity shared by our genes as well, and the reason Richard Dawkins

    titled his book The Selfish Gene . When taken at its most fundamental level, the sole purpose of

    any given gene is to replicate. The mission is get copied . The genes that are most frequently

    copied are the ones that spread and proliferate. Genes that are rarely copied become extinct.

    Richard Brodie (2009) goes to great lengths to instill this idea into his readers (in other

    words, he wants to spread this meme). He explains, When we talk about survival of the fittest ,

    we mean survival of the thing thats best at replicating at having copies of itself made (p. 50).

    He points out that we all have genetic predispositions for avoiding danger, enjoying food, and

    desiring sex. These predispositions serve the ends of our selfish genes. All our genes want us to

    do is to survive and have babies so that the process of genetic replication continues. Our genes

    dont care if were happy, or if we like the color of our eyes, or if were smart. They only want

    to replicate.

    Memes are also selfish in the same manner. They only desire replication. It should be

    pointed out here that saying memes desire or genes want is only a way of communicating a

    message, neither genes nor memes have a conscious awareness, and therefore cannot actually

    desire anything at all. Memes are simply copied as a matter of course, and even then they are not

    always copied with exactness. The more memes spread, the more mutations occur. One place

    teeming with memetic mutations is the Web.

    An interesting result of our technological advancements is the advent of Internet memes.

    The Internet, as you can imagine, is a perfect breeding ground for memes. James Gleick (2011)

    makes note of Facebook status updates copied from person to person, and Tweets copied, pasted

    and retweeted. Shifman and Thelwall (2009) conducted research whereby they tracked a widely

    circulated joke throughout the web to observe memetics at work. They discovered, not

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    unexpectedly, that memes do spread and evolve, through mutation, over the Internet. Their

    research is valuable in the sense that it provides evidence that memes can be tracked on the web

    and that if we can track them, we could potentially manipulate them into becoming beneficial for

    humanity.

    Consciously manipulating people through the use of memetics, while ethically debatable,

    could be a beneficial way to make positive changes in the world. Because friends are excellent

    at infecting each other with memes, the best place to start planting meme seeds is in the brain of

    a friend. One way to do this is through cognitive dissonance. If someone were to introduce

    opposing ideas to a friend, that person could then introduce a solution to quell the resulting

    conflict. The solution introduced would be the memetic infection desired.

    Now that we know about memes, we can, hopefully, begin to break free from their

    control. We can make conscious decisions about which memes we will be infected with.

    Another benefit to our newfound awareness is the ability to consciously manipulate memes for

    the benefit of mankind. Of course, thats assuming we can predict how the positive meme might

    mutate in the future. Once in free fall through the memetic rabbit hole, it becomes difficult to

    separate the memes from the person, and the question remains: whos pulling our strings?

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    Works Cited

    Aunger, R (2002). The electric meme . New York, NY: The Free Press.

    Backstrom, L., Bakshy, E., Klienberg, J., Lento, T.M., & Rosenn, I. (2011). Center of attention:

    How facebook users allocate attention across friends . Retrieved from

    http://misc.si.umich.edu/publications/60

    Blackmore, S (1999). The meme machine . New York, NY: Oxford University Press Inc.

    Brodie, R (2009). Virus of the mind: The new science of the meme . Carlsbad, CA: Hay House,

    Inc. (Original work published 1996)

    Dawkins, R. (1989). The selfish gene . (Original work published 1976) Available from

    http://books.google.com/books?id=WkHO9HI7koEC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_

    ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=meme&f=false

    Gleick, J. (2011). Have meme, will travel. Smithsonian , 42(2), 88.

    Shifman, L. & Thelwall, M. (2009). Assessing global diffusion with web memetics: The spread

    and evolution of a popular joke. Journal of the American Society for Information science

    and technology, 60 (12), 2567-2576. doi: 10.1002/asi.21185

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    CONNECTION TO THE THEME

    Memes are any information passed on via imitation. They can be spread from person to

    person, blog to blog, website to person, and so on. The information passed is what comprises

    our culture. Therefore, memes can be described as units of culture spread through imitation.

    A system is anything designed to carry out a specific function or meet a certain

    need. Each entity or function of the system is unified toward the realization of a shared goal. It

    is easy to think of a system as a process that has a starting point and ending point where all parts

    are put together to create a process leading to a desired outcome.

    For example, with memetics, the replication of memes through imitation is a system

    whereby ideas or behaviors are copied in a new host. To break this down, think of a person

    learning how to fold an origami swan. The person must faithfully copy the steps in order to

    create the paper bird. This faithful copying of steps is a system of replication through imitation.

    The steps themselves are the individual memes, and the entire concept of an origami swan can be

    referred to as a memeplex (a system of memes directed at achieving replication).

    Memes are also related to systems because they systematically force the evolution of our

    culture. When a meme is imitated with low fidelity, a mutation to that particular meme is said to

    have occurred. These memetic mutations are the catalysts for the systematic evolution of our

    culture. A meme is born, or mutates into a distinct entity, and change occurs. This is the system

    whereby our culture evolves over time.

    To break it down, consider the English language. Over time the words we use, how we

    spell them, and even how we pronounce them has changed. This occurred because the words

    were not always copied accurately (whether in writing or in speaking). These changes and

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    mutations forced the evolution of language. On a larger scale, memetic mutation has resulted in

    changes to the entire world and each of its idiosyncratic cultures.

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    TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION

    Technology Integration

    The unit on memes will provide opportunities for students to explore the content,

    develop their skills in technology, and help students understand what it means to be a

    responsible digital citizen. It is important to include a highly rigorous learning

    experience for students so that they may understand human, cultural, and societal

    issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. During the week,

    the students will discuss netiquette. While this deals indirectly with technology, it still

    fulfills the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) fifth standard, whichreads:

    5. Digital Citizenship

    Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and

    practice legal and ethical behavior.

    a. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology

    b. Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration,

    learning, and productivity

    c. Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning

    d. Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship

    We are also planning to have the students create and design a website to host their

    meme. According to the International Society for Technology in Education (ITSE),

    designing a webpage meets the NETS standards 1 and 5. According to the profiles

    section of the ITSE website, designing a website that meets accessibility requirements

    is a learning activity listed under the 9-12 grades and/or the 14-18 year old range.

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    Therefore, the integration of technology in our unit should prove to be rigorous and

    challenging. As students work throughout the week, it will be imperative to scaffold the

    task of creating/designing the webpage to ensure all students grasp the process.

    For this unit, the students will create their own unique meme. The meme will be

    the authentic product. We will upload our meme to the webpage the kids design. The

    webpage will include our definition of meme , which we can define as: any information,

    style, behavior, etc. spread through copying or imitation. This can be spread from

    person to person, blog to blog, tweet to retweet, and so on.

    The audience for our product will be anyone who sees the meme. This includes

    the other kids at camp and anyone who happens upon the webpage we create to host

    the students meme. Essentially, the entire world is a potential audience member; this

    is why the netiquette lesson is so important.

    The variations of our meme will be displayed on the webpage to illustrate

    memetic mutation. This will stand in for the development of our product because the

    actual development will take place in the brains of the children. The creation of the

    product will like-wise be produced by the organic technology every human has access

    to: a brain.

    The integration of technology will begin at the start of the week with an

    interactive, web-based dialect quiz, developed by NC State, that uses audio for students

    to listen to as they identify the different dialects. As the week continues, effective

    modeling will take place to teach webpage design. Guided practice will also help save

    time if the students seem like they are going to take too much time to put the webpage

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    together by themselves. Well just walk them through it while they dictate what they

    want to see, and they can even take turns adding information to the page as students

    become more comfortable with webpage design.

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    CONTENT OUTLINE

    I. Introduction to memes

    A. Definition: meme any information, style, behavior, etc. spread through copying or

    imitation. This can be spread from person to person, blog to blog, tweet to retweet, and so on.

    B. Examples of memes words/language

    1. Words are sounds that spread through imitation

    II. The nature of memes

    A. Replication the copying and spreading of memes

    1. Memes spread because they are copied by other people. For example. If I hear

    you say, that [insert superstar name here] is awetastic, and I start using that word,

    then it becomes a meme with which I am infected, and can now begin. This ilustrates

    how replication occurs.

    2. A memes sole purpose is replication.

    3. In the phrase survival of the fittest, the word fittest refers to the ability of a

    particular meme to replicate effectively. The more often a meme is copied, the more

    fit it is.

    B. Mutation

    1. When memes are not copied with perfect accuracy, a mutation occurs.

    2. Examples of how memes mutate

    a) Dialect dialect is a form of language unique to a specific region or

    group of people.

    (1) According to research conducted by NC State, there are five

    distinct dialects spoken in North Carolina alone.

    III. Memes and their influence on culture at large.

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    A. When memes spread the host can be said to be infected

    1. One knows he is infected with a meme when he notices himself spreading that

    meme.

    B. How to deliberately infect others with a meme.

    1. Create an infectious slogan with an image and an infectious saying/message and

    place it where it can be seen by as many people as possible. When communicating face

    to face the message can be accompanied by a gesture, a sing-song type delivery, or

    anything else that could improve its infectious nature.

    a) The message should be positive

    (1) We want the world to be a better place.

    V. Netiquette

    A. How to be appropriate on the Internet.

    1. Because we interact with so many people online, its important to follow a set of

    rules or guidelines when communicating via the Internet.

    B. How the Internet affects life offline

    1. Cyber bullying leads to offline issues.

    a) Dont do it!

    2. Memes that are popular on the Web can jump screen to appear in the real

    world.

    a) Advertising

    (1) Success kid!

    C. Internet memes represent only a small fraction of the total scope covered by memes.

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    LESSON #1Memetics 101

    I. DEFINE THE CONTENT

    LESSONOBJECTIVE

    Students will be able to integrate the concept of memetics into

    their existing schema to lay the foundation of requisite knowledgein order to purposefully create a meme.POINT TOPONDER

    Memetic replication explains cultural evolution.

    II. PREPLANNING: BEING WITH THE END IN MIND

    What 3 items areworth knowing?(Think about thecontent you haveselected. What isimportant for students toKNOW?)

    After the lesson,Students will KNOW that survival of the fittest refers to the abilityof a meme, or gene, to replicate effectively.

    Students will KNOW that memes can be spread from person to

    person, blog to blog, tweet to retweet, and so on.

    Students will KNOW that memetic mutations, over time, causeculture to evolve.

    What 3 items areimportant for students to be ableto DO?(Define whatstudents should beable to DO as aresult of your lesson.)

    After the lesson,Students should be able to define memes

    Students should be able to explain replication and mutation withexamples (primarily the example of dialect ).

    Students should be able to relate memetic replication to imitating

    the steps it takes to create an origami sculpture.

    What are theenduringunderstandingsthat studentsshould take awayfrom the lesson?(Define the BIGIdeas.)

    After the lesson,

    Students will UNDERSTAND that memes are an information,style, behavior, etc. spread through copying or imitation.

    Students will UNDERSTAND that memes are copied and spreadthrough a process called replication .

    Students will UNDERSTAND that memeplexes are essentiallysystems aimed at achieving the common goal of replication.

    Students will UNDERSTAND that when memes are not copiedwith perfect accuracy, a mutation occurs.

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    III. PLANNINGESSENTIALQUESTION(One overarchinglesson question)

    Why are memes important?

    ASSESSMENT(PerformanceTask) What willthe students DOto demonstratethat they havemastered thecontent? Bespecific andinclude actualassessment with

    unit materials.

    The students will be informally assessed via: their ability to provide their own examples of memes their ability to reiterate the steps related to memetic

    replication and mutation

    CONTENTOutline thecontent you willteach in thislesson.

    I. Introduction to memesA. Definition: meme any information, style, behavior, etc. spreadthrough copying or imitation. This can be spread from person toperson, blog to blog, tweet to retweet, and so on.B. Examples of memes words/language

    1. Words are sounds that spread through imitationII. The nature of memes

    A. Replication the copying and spreading of memes1. Memes spread because they are copied by otherpeople. For example. If I hear you say, that [insert superstarname here] is awetastic, and I start using that word, then itbecomes a meme with which I am infected, and can now beginspreading. This illustrates how replication occurs.2. A memes sole purpose is replication.3. In the phrase survival of the fittest, the word fittestrefers to the ability of a particular meme to replicate effectively.The more often a meme is copied, the more fit it is.

    B. Mutation1. When memes are not copied with perfect accuracy, amutation occurs.2. Examples of how memes mutate

    a) Dialect dialect is a form of language unique to

    a specific region or group of people.(1) According to research conducted by NCState, there are five distinct dialects spoken inNorth Carolina alone.

    HOOKDescribe how youwill grab studentsattention at the

    We will begin by telling the students that they are infected withmemes. Then we will define meme , and then explain that languageis a meme and dialect is a mutation of that meme. We will explainthat according to research conducted by NC State, there are five

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    beginning of thelesson. BeCREATIVE.

    dialects in North Carolina. We will then take the online, interactivedialect quiz .

    INSTRUCTIONExplain Step-by-

    step what you willdo in this lesson.Include ALLsupport andteaching materialswith your unit.

    1. After the hook, discuss how imitating steps, also known asreplication , is a memetic system.

    2. Explain that by spreading memes, you can actively shapeyour world.3. To emphasize this message and transition into our next

    section, show the students a short video (called Papiroflexia )depicting a man folding parts of his world, origami style, intowhat he wants to see.

    4. To illustrate how replication works, create origami paper hats by modeling the folds for the students and asking them tocopy the steps.

    5. Explain that each step is an individual meme and the wholeprocess is called a memeplex (because all of the steps are

    directly working toward replication of the system as a whole).6. Then provide the students with written instructions for anorigami jumping frog and ask them to perform the folds ontheir own.

    a. During this stage, one set of directions can be alteredslightly to create a mutation to the memeplex. Inother words, change a step to influence a change inan origami sculpture.

    7. Explain to the students that each method is a way to spreadmemes.

    a. If a change has been made to one of the written

    directions, discuss how human error can lead to amemetic mutation.8. Ask the students to think about which method is the most

    effective.9. The students will then vote, by a show of hands, on which

    method they think is the best with regard to accurate memediffusion.

    10. Ask them to explain why they think one method is better than another for creating high fidelity memes.

    11. Inform the students that they will be creating their ownmeme to spread a positive message.

    12. Provide several options and allow the kids to nominateothers.a. Options include, but are not limited to:

    i. Healthy Livingii. Going Greeniii. Reading is Funiv. Anti-Bullying

    13. Vote to decide which meme the group will spread.

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    LESSON #2Better Living Through Mutation

    I. DEFINE THE CONTENTLESSON

    OBJECTIVE

    The students will be able to create a meme with the intention of

    spreading a positive message.POINT TOPONDER

    Memetic mutation informs cultural evolution.

    II. PREPLANNING: BEING WITH THE END IN MIND

    What 3 items areworth knowing?(Think about thecontent you haveselected. What isimportant for students toKNOW?)

    After the lesson,Students will KNOW that a complex group of memes workingtoward the common goal of replication is called a memeplex .

    Students will KNOW that spreading harmful memes can be adetriment to society.

    Students will KNOW that spreading positive memes can benefitsociety.

    What 3 items areimportant for students to be ableto DO?

    (Define whatstudents should beable to DO as aresult of your lesson.)

    After the lesson,Students should be able to create their own memes.

    Students should be able to relate how memetic replication andmutation influence the evolution of culture, specifically by usingcommunication systems as an example.

    Students should be able to create their own webpage.

    Students should be able to plan a campaign to infect as manypeople as possible with their meme.

    What are theenduringunderstandings

    that studentsshould take awayfrom the lesson?(Define the BIGIdeas.)

    After the lesson,Students will UNDERSTAND how memes affect the evolution of culture.

    Students will UNDERSTAND that one must be responsible whenspreading memes.

    Students will UNDERSTAND that when memes fail to replicatethey become extinct.

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    III. PLANNINGESSENTIALQUESTION(One overarchinglesson question)

    How can we use memes to intentionally influence our culture?

    ASSESSMENT(PerformanceTask) What willthe students DOto demonstratethat they havemastered thecontent? Bespecific andinclude actualassessment with

    unit materials.

    The students will use Microsoft Paint to create an image combinedwith a positive message to serve as their meme. They will beginspreading their meme by uploading to the internet. The studentswill also print the image onto labels to create stickers that will behanded out to the other campers.

    CONTENTOutline thecontent you willteach in thislesson.

    I. Memes and their influence on culture at large.A. Our culture is made up of memes. Through memetic replicationand mutation, culture evolves over time.B. The pros and cons of memes

    1. cons spreading memes can result in misinformationbeing spread.

    a) For centuries many people believed the worldwas flat.b) No pain, no gain is a harmful meme. Most ofthe time, pain indicates that something has gone wrongand attention is required.

    2. pros spreading memes can benefit society.a) For centuries many people had limited optionswhen it came to clothing. Think about early humanswho had to hunt, kill, and skin animals to make clothes.Through imitation, over time, the clothing industry hasevolved into what it is today. Arent you glad you can just go to the store and buy a nice leopard print shirtand you dont have to chase down an actual jungle cat!

    C. Linking memes and systems1. Memeplexes a complex group, or system, of memesworking together to achieve the common goal of replication.

    a) A set of instructions is a memeplex. Followingthe steps is a system whereby you are copyingindividual memes as you replicate an entire memeplex.

    2. The evolution of communication systems was a resultof memetic mutations over time.

    a) Video Killed the Radio Star is an ode to theslow, fading extinction of a meme due to its failure toreplicate.

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    HOOKDescribe how youwill grab studentsattention at the

    beginning of thelesson. BeCREATIVE.

    We will begin the lesson with a fun presentation depicting howmemes influenced the evolution of communication systems.

    INSTRUCTIONExplain Step-by-step what you willdo in this lesson.Include ALLsupport andteaching materialswith your unit.

    1. After the communication systems presentation, beginbrainstorming ideas for what our meme will look like.

    2. The students will use Microsoft Paint to create an image for their meme.

    3. While creating the visual representation of the meme, thestudents should also be brainstorming a catchy phrase tocommunicate the message of the meme.

    4. The students will then combine the image with their written

    slogan to create their finished meme.5. Once the students have their meme, customize a Tumblr page to host the creation.

    6. Upload the meme to the Tumblr page.7. Print the meme onto labels to make stickers the students

    can pass out to the other campers.8. Watch the music video of The Buggles Video Killed the

    Radio Star , and discuss how the song represents theextinction of a meme due to its failure to replicate.

    9. Spread the meme by passing out the stickers.

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    LESSON #3Netiquette

    I. DEFINE THE CONTENT

    LESSONOBJECTIVE

    The students will be able to judge the appropriateness of

    information they post, or discover, on the Internet and decide on alist of rules for netiquette

    POINT TOPONDER

    Things on the Web do not always stay on the Web; sometimesthey jump screen and appear in the physical world.

    II. PREPLANNING: BEING WITH THE END IN MIND

    What 3 items areworth knowing?

    (Think about thecontent you haveselected. What isimportant for students toKNOW?)

    After the lesson,Students will KNOW that its important to follow etiquetteguidelines while using the Internet.

    Students will KNOW that cyber bullying can lead to offline issues.

    Students will KNOW that internet memes only represent a smallfraction of the total scope covered by memes.

    What 3 items areimportant for students to be ableto DO?(Define whatstudents should beable to DO as aresult of your lesson.)

    After the lesson,Students should be able to create memes to advertise products.

    Students should be able to choose which memes they will allow to

    infect them.

    Students should be able to explain rules of netiquette, and their importance, to other people.

    What are theenduringunderstandingsthat studentsshould take awayfrom the lesson?(Define the BIGIdeas.)

    After the lesson,Students will UNDERSTAND that advertisements are attempts toinfect one with memes.

    Students will UNDERSTAND that one can choose which memes

    he/she is infected with.

    Students will UNDERSTAND that in order to spread a meme, onemust place the meme in frequently trafficked areas.

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    III. PLANNINGESSENTIALQUESTION(One overarchinglesson question)

    What is netiquette and why is it so important?

    ASSESSMENT(PerformanceTask) What willthe students DOto demonstratethat they havemastered thecontent? Bespecific andinclude actualassessment with

    unit materials.

    The students will create a poster of their meme and place it in aheavy traffic area in the school. The students will create andupload rules of netiquette to their Tumblr page.

    CONTENTOutline thecontent you willteach in thislesson.

    I. NetiquetteA. How to be appropriate on the Internet.

    1. Because we interact with so many people online, itsimportant to follow a set of rules or guidelines whencommunicating via the Internet.

    B. How the Internet affects life offline1. Cyber bullying leads to offline issues.

    a) Dont do it!2. Memes that are popular on the Web can jump screento appear in the real world.

    a) Advertising(1) Success kid!

    C. Internet memes represent only a small fraction of the totalscope covered by memes.

    Some Internet memes can be offensive. HOOKDescribe how youwill grab studentsattention at thebeginning of thelesson. BeCREATIVE.

    Well begin by showing the students a sequence of funny, ageappropriate internet memes (Lolcats, Success baby, etc.) and thisvideo explaining the memetic nature of Guiles theme song .

    INSTRUCTIONExplain Step-by-step what you willdo in this lesson.Include ALLsupport andteaching materialswith your unit.

    1. After the hook, explain that internet memes only represent asmall fraction of a larger number of meme types.

    2. Then, explain that there is a system of rules and guidelinesfor behavior on the Internet. This system, or memeplex, isknown as netiquette.

    3. Explain that netiquette is important so that everyone cansafely enjoy the Internet.

    4. Once the students understand the idea, encourage them to

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    create their own set of netiquette rules5. Monitor/ assist (as needed) the students as they upload their

    netiquette rules to their Tumblr page.6. With that complete, the students will create posters of their

    meme.

    7. Instruct the students to hang their posters in places wherethey think they will receive the most exposure. (Allow thestudents to decide where they think the posters will be mosteffective).

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    LESSON #4Infection is Imminent

    I. DEFINE THE CONTENT

    LESSONOBJECTIVE

    The students will be able to analyze how their meme affected the

    other campers and come to conclusions concerning their findings.

    POINT TOPONDER

    Now that you understand memetics, you can begin to manipulateyour world one meme at a time.

    II. PREPLANNING: BEING WITH THE END IN MIND

    What 3 items areworth knowing?(Think about the

    content you haveselected. What isimportant for students toKNOW?)

    After the lesson,Students will KNOW that memes can be influential.

    Students will KNOW that memes spread and evolve through a

    system of replication and mutation.

    Students will KNOW that they are able to influence their immediateculture.

    What 3 items areimportant for students to be ableto DO?(Define whatstudents should beable to DO as aresult of your lesson.)

    After the lesson,Students should be able to create an effective meme.

    Students should be able to create a survey to discern the infectionlevel of their meme.

    Students should be able to make informed predictions about howour culture will evolve in the future based on the memes of today.

    What are theenduringunderstandingsthat studentsshould take away

    from the lesson?(Define the BIGIdeas.)

    After the lesson,Students will UNDERSTAND that memetic mutation is necessaryfor cultural evolution.

    Students will UNDERSTAND that their meme has the potential tochange their world.

    Students will UNDERSTAND that memetic infection begins withfriends.

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    III. PLANNINGESSENTIALQUESTION(One overarchinglesson question)

    How well did our meme spread?

    ASSESSMENT(PerformanceTask) What willthe students DOto demonstratethat they havemastered thecontent? Bespecific andinclude actualassessment with

    unit materials.

    The students will create a survey to find and record theinfectiousness of their meme. They will then distribute the surveyto their peers, and interpret their results. Their findings will beposted on their Tumblr page.

    CONTENTOutline thecontent you willteach in thislesson.

    I. The nature of memesA. Replication the copying and spreading of memes

    1. Memes spread because they are copied by otherpeople. For example. If I hear you say, that [insert superstarname here] is awetastic, and I start using that word, then itbecomes a meme with which I am infected, and can now begin.This ilustrates how replication occurs.2. A memes sole purpose is replication.3. In the phrase survival of the fittest, the word fittestrefers to the ability of a particular meme to replicate effectively.The more often a meme is copied, the more fit it is.

    B. Mutation1. When memes are not copied with perfect accuracy, amutation occurs.2. Examples of how memes mutate

    a) Dialect dialect is a form of language unique toa specific region or group of people.

    (1) According to research conducted by NCState, there are five distinct dialects spoken inNorth Carolina alone.

    II. Memes and their influence on culture at large.A. Our culture is made up of memes. Through memetic replication

    and mutation, culture evolves over time.B. Linking memes and systems

    1. Memeplexes a complex group, or system, of memesworking together to achieve the common goal of replication.

    a) A set of instructions is a memeplex. Followingthe steps is a system whereby you are copyingindividual memes as you replicate an entire memeplex.

    2. The evolution of communication systems was a result

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    of memetic mutations over time.I. Infection

    A. When memes spread the host can be said to be infected1. One knows he is infected with a meme when he noticeshimself spreading that meme.

    B. How to deliberately infect others with a meme.1. Create an infectious slogan with an image and aninfectious saying/message and place it where it can be seen byas many people as possible. When communicating face to facethe message can be accompanied by a gesture, a sing-song typedelivery, or anything else that could improve its infectiousnature.

    a) The message should be positive(1) We want the world to be a better place.

    HOOKDescribe how youwill grab studentsattention at thebeginning of thelesson. BeCREATIVE.

    Group 1 will begin by passing out stickers during the larger groupsession. (Group 2 will pass out their stickers during the large groupsession after the class).

    The students will be asked to make predictions about theeffectiveness of their meme. This discussion will lead into adiscussion about how the effectiveness of memetic diffusion mightbe analyzed (step one below).

    INSTRUCTIONExplain Step-by-step what you willdo in this lesson.Include ALLsupport andteaching materialswith your unit.

    1. The students must decide how they are going to measurethe effectiveness of their meme.

    2. The students will then brainstorm and create questions for their survey that will provide them with the desiredinformation.

    3. The students need to come to an agreement with regard tohow they are going to interpret and share the results of thesurvey.

    4. These questions will then be used to create a brief survey toanalyze the effectiveness of the students meme.

    5. The survey will be uploaded to the students Tumblr pagewith a brief explanation of its intended purpose.

    6. The survey will be printed in preparation of its use.7. The students will use the survey to question their peers

    during the interim between sessions.8. When the group meets again in the afternoon, ask the

    students to share their results.9. Discuss the implications of their findings.10. Upload a summary of the results to the Tumblr page.

    Another great lesson. This is an absolutely outstanding unit!!

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    APPENDIX OF SUPPORT MATERIALS

    Computer with Internet access

    Color printer Dialect quiz web address: http://www.ncsu.edu/linguistics/ncllp/dialectquiz.php

    Tumblr blog hosting site web address: https://www.tumblr.com/

    The Buggles Video Killed the Radio Starhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwuy4hHO3YQ

    Papiroflexia video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytVBKpe-3fU&ob=av1n

    Power Point presentation: The Evolution of Communication:http://ge.tt/2vYqfAF/v/0

    Large rectangular paper for origami hats: http://www.origami-fun.com/origami-hat.html

    Rectangular paper for origami jumping frogs: http://www.origami-fun.com/origami-jumping-frog.html