Aesthetics like "dark academia" and "cottagecore" have gone viral on tik tok and tumblr. Chances are your students know what these are, even if you don't! This week on my Instagram, we dove into the various aesthetics via #AestheticWeek. It's been a lot of fun sharing aesthetic inspiration with my fellow teachers. But how do you bring it into the classroom? Here are a few ideas:
1) Creative Writing- There is a huge crossover between aesthetic and genre, so use that as a place to jump off for student writing. I created aesthetic writing challenges for my students, providing them with objects and ideas from popular aesthetics, as well as tones to set in their writing. These short scenes are a perfect way to get students writing out of their comfort zone and thinking creatively inside the box.
2) Create a Moodboard- I love having students make aesthetic moodboards. It helps them think visually about what they are learning about by pulling in dreamy images. This past semester, I had students make moodboards for the muses in Mythology class and make moodboards for their NaNoWriMo novels in Creative Writing. Moodboards can be a jumping off place for writing or a way to show reading comprehension in a creative way. I typically have students make them on Google Slides, but apps like PicsArt and Canva make it easy to create unique and more complex moodboards. Below is an example of one I made quickly on PicsArt. You can even make your own moodboard of inspiring images on the walls of your classroom through images in magazines or printed out. Even better, challenge students to make a collaborative moodboard on the wall of your classroom to show their comprehension of a text.
3) Reading List and Displays- As a lot of your students might already be looking at tik toks about these aesthetics, use it to pull them into reading. Many of these aesthetics can be seen in both classic and contemporary literature. If you enjoy reading, you may find that a lot of these aesthetics already fit some of the books you read in your spare time and you might discover (and help your students discover) some new favorites. Check my story tagged "Aesthetics" on my instagram to see my reading lists for each aesthetic and feel free to share with your students.
I'm Megan and I teach high school ELA. I'm all about literature, creativity, and aesthetics!