From a teacher's desk: Using Antimatter in a Social Studies Classroom

Jackson Grant

Jackson Grant

Jackson Grant is a middle school social studies teacher located in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Jonathan Libov

Jonathan Libov

Jonathan is the Founder & CEO of Antimatter
Esra Flora

Esra Flora

Community Manager at Antimatter
Los Angeles

I’ve been teaching middle school Social Studies for 6 years. As a Social Studies teacher, I have always tried to engage students in topics that they care about and in ways that they will respond to, even if those means of engagement might be considered untraditional. One of the means is memes.

Most of my instructional materials include memes; in fact, one of my favorite activities is to start a lesson with a meme addressing the topic of discussion and have students analyze what it means. I am always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate memes and effective strategies to make them more accessible to my students.

Discovering Antimatter

This is the primary reason I was so excited when I stumbled upon Antimatter. Before, having my students create memes was a complex process because there was no software that would integrate everything from creation, to sharing, to collaborating in one platform. Antimatter does that and I was extremely pleased with the result.

Introducing Antimatter

I used Antimatter the first time as a review activity on the first day back from Winter Break. We had just studied the Middle Ages and were about to transition to the Renaissance.

I started the lesson by making a list on the board of all the important events, topics, people, and places from the unit we just got done studying before break, then told students to choose two from the list that stood out to them. Their assignment was to create a meme about that topic, person, event, or place in the studio I had created for their classroom.

My students are used to creating memes in my class because I do it quite often, but they were so much more engaged on Antimatter because they were able to create their memes in the same workspace and then see what everyone else was creating at the same time. This turned it into a friendly competition for who could get the most “blessed” meme, which motivated them to try even harder to create great memes and then lobby for the reason why theirs was the best.

Wrapping up

I was so happy with the results that I shared Antimatter with the rest of my Social Studies department and we all use it now. The best thing I can say about Antimatter is that it really created a conducive environment for my students to express their ideas, thoughts, and knowledge in a fun and collaborative way. It also doesn’t hurt that because every one of my students’ memes was in one place, it made grading a breeze! I can’t say enough about Antimatter that has made using memes in the classroom so accessible and easy to use.