The Reading / Listening - Memes - Level 4

Memes are a growing part of our life and online culture. We know memes as pictures that go viral on social media. People use them to make jokes or comments. However, author Richard Dawkins is unhappy with the Internet calling a meme a "picture with words". Mr Dawkins coined the term 'meme' in his book 'The Selfish Gene'. He said memes are ideas that spread from brain to brain, like genes. He never uses the word 'meme' for a picture with writing on it.



Memes are everywhere today. American universities now offer Meme Studies courses. Memes make politics easier for young people. A Twitter user said, "memes helped people understand [politics and] more complex ideas". Many people used memes to express their views during the 2016 U.S. election. The vice.com website said: "Memes now have as much power, influence and reach as the propaganda posters of yesteryear."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Memes - Level 5 or  Memes - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39967075/did-you-know-the-word-meme-is-41-years-old
  • http://news.sky.com/story/how-memes-make-dull-and-dry-politics-accessible-10888209
  • https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/meme-historians-are-an-inevitability


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. Memes are a growing
  2. pictures that go
  3. social
  4. make
  5. Mr Dawkins coined the
  6. memes are ideas that spread
  7. He never uses
  8. a picture with
  1. jokes
  2. from brain to brain
  3. viral
  4. term 'meme'
  5. the word 'meme'
  6. part of our life
  7. writing on it
  8. media

Paragraph 2

  1. Memes are everywhere
  2. universities now offer
  3. Memes make politics easier
  4. politics and more
  5. Many people
  6. to express their views during
  7. power, influence
  8. the propaganda posters
  1. for young people
  2. the 2016 US election
  3. used memes
  4. Meme Studies courses
  5. and reach
  6. today
  7. of yesteryear
  8. complex ideas

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Memes are (1) ___________________ our life and online culture. We know memes as pictures (2) ___________________ social media. People use them to make (3) ___________________. However, author Richard Dawkins is unhappy with the Internet (4) ___________________ "picture with words". Mr Dawkins coined the term 'meme' in his book 'The Selfish Gene'. He said (5) ___________________ that spread from brain to brain, like genes. He never uses the word 'meme' (6) ___________________ writing on it.

Memes are everywhere today. American universities now offer (7) ___________________. Memes make (8) ___________________ young people. A Twitter user said, "memes helped people understand [politics and] (9) ___________________". Many people used memes (10) ___________________ views during the 2016 U.S. election. The vice.com website said: "Memes now (11) ___________________ power, influence and reach as the propaganda (12) ___________________."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Memesareagrowingpartofourlifeandonlineculture.Weknowmemesa
spicturesthatgoviralonsocialmedia.Peopleusethemtomakejokesorc
omments.However,authorRichardDawkinsisunhappywiththeIntern
etcallingamemea"picturewithwords".MrDawkinscoinedtheterm'me
me'inhisbook'TheSelfishGene'.Hesaidmemesareideasthatspreadfro
mbraintobrain,likegenes.Heneverusestheword'meme'forapicturewi
thwritingonit.Memesareeverywheretoday.Americanuniversitiesno
wofferMemeStudiescourses.Memesmakepoliticseasierforyoungpeo
ple.ATwitterusersaid,"memeshelpedpeopleunderstand[politicsand]
morecomplexideas".Manypeopleusedmemestoexpresstheirviewsd
uringthe2016U.S.election.Thevice.comwebsitesaid:"Memesnowha
veasmuchpower,influenceandreachasthepropagandapostersofyest
eryear."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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