Media - Social Studies - Play

Learning Objective

Spin is designed to promote student reflection on the power of words and images by creating and altering meaning in a fictional narrative. This fast-paced, small group storytelling game provides students the experience of “spinning” a story in different directions to convey diverse storylines or viewpoints—much like it occurs in print, broadcast, and digital media today. Visual, verbal, and image-based reading skills are put into play during the game, so students may gain a better understanding of how words and images may be manipulated to promote a particular interpretation of an event or to advocate a social, political, or governmental agenda.

Basic Strategy

In Spin, players take turns crafting a cohesive story using random images and words drawn from a deck of cards. Opponents may foil one another by playing a SPIN wildcard that requires the previous player to spin the story in the opposite direction! This game is intended to be fun and fast-paced.

Detailed Teacher Instructions are included in the Spin game materials below.

  1. Once the game is completed, have all the students return to their seats in the circle for a debrief.
  2. This is an opportunity for you to guide the students’ reflection and prepare them for the period of history and the genre of literature you plan to study or have already studied.
  3. Guiding Questions (Adapt depending on how you approach the texts.)
      • In general, where do you get your information? How do you conduct research into things that interest you?
      • How does TV influence your life? Internet? News shows?
      • Do you receive news differently from TV, online newspapers or periodicals, or print newspapers or periodicals? How so?
      • Do you believe that the local or national news is unbiased? Liberal? Conservative?
      • Do you regard news coverage on the TV as providing information or entertainment?
      • How often to you encounter advertising with only words and not pictures?
      • Do the reality TV shows present a perspective of American culture that is familiar to you in your own life?
      • How often do you critically read the lyrics to the music you listen to?