Like all of social media, there is room for incredible creativity and positivity on TikTok, and there is room for amplifying negativity, judgment and suffering.
I know which side we’re on! Now it’s time to show our students they have a lot more power than they might think when it comes to social media. The most recent TikTok challenge, “Devious Licks,” may not yet have reached your school, but there’s a good chance your students know about this viral campaign to encourage students to vandalize their schools. Rrgh. Not a good thing for our world, not a good thing for our students to have sitting on their minds at a time when they are already feeling down as the pandemic lingers on.
So let’s turn things around and show kids how to use social media as a force for good instead. I’ve created a free curriculum set for you (link coming in a second) to help.
Start with a Chance to Talk and Write
Use the prompt below to let kids process what’s going on. Maybe let them chat with a partner or in small groups before writing, or just dive right into some writing time.
Bring a Fresh Take to the Situation
Project the image below (left) and then pass out the brainstorming sheet (right), letting kids think about how they might create a new hashtag and paired action that would let their generation show up in a positive way on social media.
If time allows, let kids present their idea back to the class. Consider voting on one to put into action. Take time in class to create social media assets on a free platform like Canva, which has templates for Instagram stories and posts, Facebook posts, and TikTok videos. Let kids talk about how to get the rest of the school or the wider community involved.
Not only can this work help your community heal in the wake of the TikTok challenge and the pandemic, it also represents a very real and important use of ELA skills. The critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills required to plan and execute a social media campaign are ones that your students may well use in their future work as adults in their communities and companies.