2015 Year in Review

The Best of the Year 2015

Begin by watching Google’s 2015 Zeigeist video



Station 1: News Year in Review


Read the new stories from the year. Discuss ones that you remember occurring. Which seemed to be the most important ones? Create two powerful headlines that you would use to report these events.


Station 2: Words, Words, Words


Read Oxford Dictionary’s Words of the Year.  What are two possibilities for your vote?





Discuss why people looking up these words. What was occurring in the country that would cause people to seek the meaning of these ten.


 Station 3: Top Songs and Movies of the Year

Movies: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2015&p=.htm

Songs: http://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2015/hot-100-songs

Discuss in your group what the list has in common. Any patterns?  What aspects of American culture do these seem to deal with?

Top Grossing Movie:


Top Song:



Station 4: Banished Words for 2016


These lists are some of my favorite to read.  Read each with your group.  Which are the ones that you are most familiar with?  Least familiar?  Again, what parts of American culture are highlighted?


Your thoughts:

Add one or two words or phrases that you’d like to see banished for the coming year


Station 5: Photo Gallery


Scroll through a dozen or so of the pictures and read the captions.  Find out some more information on a few that interest you.  Why is this selected as one of the top pictures?  What does this gallery say about America and what is important to its citizens?


Your thoughts:


Station 6: Internet Search Terms



Read through the collected research for what people searched for on the web in 2015. Discuss why people searched for these. Which part of this surprised you most? What was the most visited site? What do you think your most visited site was?


Most visited site of 2015:


Your most visited site in 2015:


Probably your most search terms:


Small Group Discussion:

Your task is to incorporate what you learned about 2015 with your current thoughts and opinions on the world. Consider these topics to discuss:

  • What events/ideas/people will be the history of the future?  What will have lasting effects?  Explain why this is true.


  • How are the times changing even in your lifetime?  Is it a positive or negative change?  Why?


  • 2015: Is it a monumental year or an insignificant one?


  • Explain this quotation in light of your study of the year: “Our life is but a vapor then it is gone.”


  • What aspects of American culture is highlighted this year?  Why/how is this so?


One Comment

  1. 1a. The video does a pretty good job of summing up the year. 1b. Of all the events listed I remember those of number 3 most. The repeated shootings eventually made me glad to be over here, since it’s safer for me over here than in the States. 2a. dark web and they, I guess. 2b. They look up these words, not necessarily to find the meaning, but to find specificity as well; so they know (and I mean ACTUALLY KNOW) how to use these terms. 3. I notice that the top 10 movies have a VERY prominent fantastical aspect about them (and those of long-running series’ (or long anticipated movies) would have a nostalgic appeal such as Spectre, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Jurassic World.). I have only heard of a few of those songs (surprised I recognized any of them), I do agree with the number one pick though. 4a. Most familiar with: “so,” “problematic,” and “conversation.” Least familiar with: “vape,” “presser,” and “manspreading.” I feel like these terms, especially the ones I’m least familiar with, express the aspect of American culture which is the unnecessary shortening of words. 4b. additions to banishment list: “yas”- It sounds stupid, and is EXTREMELY annoying to listen to again and again. “kill it”- in the case of being told to turn something off, I’ve been told this (while I’m in the middle of a game mind you) and it annoys me because it strikes me as having a rude undertone. 5. 6,9,10,11 show the importance of knowing what can and does go wrong, but also what is fun and what is unexpected. Americans also care about what is going on in the world (including their hand in it) as well as a little bit of culture from other countries. Thoughts on picture 09: I’m sure they appreciated the rescue and the airlift, but they just survived an avalanche on a mountain, why would you take them to Mt. Everest- not just another mountain, but a taller mountain!!? 6. People searched these terms because they had much prominence in the time they occurred (otherwise uneventful times for many, I’m sure). I was most surprised by Fallout 4, I knew it had generated some hype, but not THAT much. Most visited site?: probably google.com. My most visited site?: probably flippedmath.com or youtube. Most search terms?: I don’t know, probably any random thing reqired for an assignment.

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