Year One

#IceBucketChallenge

How to take the ALS #IceBucketChallenge when you’re a teacher and fed up with the fact everyone now knows what the challenge is, but no one knows what ALS is.

  1. Set aside 45 minutes of your lesson plan on a Friday for culture building.
  2. Teach your students about the need to stay up to date on current events, and the even greater need to be able to discuss and debate them in an articulate manner.
  3. Discuss and define “slacktivism” through the examples of Livestrong bracelets, #BringBackOurGirls, Kony 2012, etc.
  4. Introduce the #IceBucketChallenge by watching the video of a favorite celebrity. I went with Taylor Swift, but I would have chosen this one if it had been uploaded sooner.
  5. Ask your students if they’ve heard of this before. All of their hands will go up.
  6. Ask your students if they know how it started. Crickets.
  7. Ask if they know what ALS is. One brave soul will venture a guess – “it’s a kind of cancer?”
  8. Watch this video about ALS. Explain the need for ALS research.
  9. Read two articles about the #IceBucketChallenge. This one and this one.
  10. Split the class into two teams to debate the articles and argue the
    merit of the #IceBucketChallenge.
  11. Let your students dump a bucket of ice water on your head to raise awareness for a disease that has no cure, that destroys your body while leaving your mind unaffected, and that kills within 2-5 years of diagnosis.

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