Monday, May 30, 2011

Nerds versus zombies in the classroom

Stories can be powerful things. Right now I'm reading Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Miller's story recounts what he learned during the process of turning one of his books into a screenplay. Miller learned that his life was like a story. And if life is the story and the story has meaning, then life has meaning.

This is one reason why last year I often asked my students to create their own stories to illustrate ideas. Several students usually turned in movies. My movie-makers were not the students who typically got noticed. They were not the athletes or the academics. They were kids that seemed otherwise ordinary but who had an amazing ability to see meaning in stories and camera angles.

In the following film, my students addressed the issue of good verses evil and why there is evil in the world. Their answer is abstract and they did have to explain the video to bring it into the concrete, but focus on the idea that one man, Dr. Barislov, introduced the zombie virus into the world and you will see a somewhat Judeo-Christian idea of why there is evil in the world in their story.

And who doesn't like a good nerd versus zombie movie now and again.


Drybones said...

I read that book. I never thought of it in conjunction with zombies, but I have looked at zombies the perspective of a Christian worldview. Zombies really are far more than just a movie monster. I teach Zombies! Zombies are great to use in an educational context because of their cultural popularity, especially among the school age demographic. As a teacher in the humanities, I have found them to be fascinating philosophically and think that zombies have a lot to teach us about ourselves. I have written about the meaning of zombies at my website (the first post is at This series is a little academic and quite detailed. If you'd like a lighter version I summarized it all in a post called "10 Things Zombies Tell Us About Ourselves." You can find that one here: I hope these resources can help teachers to engage their students.

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