Adobe Education
Educators and Professional Development Specialists

Teachable Moments: Memes

What's your favorite meme? How might you teach with it?

An Internet meme is an idea, style or action which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet, as with imitating the concept.Some notable examples include: posting a photo of people in public places lying down planking, or uploading a short video of people dancing to the Harlem Shake.

An interesting compendium of all internet memes ever is available here:

Many internet memes are nothing more than an interesting or funny digital image that has been edited in Photoshop using layers. There are plenty of examples of digital image memes all over the internet, many of which make great classroom projects.

If you’re interested in exploring how other educators are using memes in the classroom, check out this great introduction, which includes a number of links to other sites with more information: ERMAHGERD Memes in the Classroom

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

4 / 5 • 8 Ratings

Comments (29)

Write a reply...
or Join for free to view all comments and participate in the discussion.

Dennis Neufeld

Posted on 1/17/14 10:21:35 PM Permalink

Thanks very much! I wish I had discovered this post earlier in the semester. I'll be using some meme-related activities next semester for sure!

Dennis Neufeld

Posted on 1/17/14 10:21:25 PM Permalink

Thanks very much! I wish I had discovered this post earlier in the semester. I'll be using some meme-related activities next semester for sure!

Mavis McLean

Posted on 12/28/13 11:49:18 PM Permalink

One of my favorite memes can be found on social media. This meme features a youg Raven Symone during her years with the Cosby show. The memes have the same picture of Raven with various captions inserted. The memes appeal more to young adults than more mature individuals, as they mainly address relationships issues. The memes can be used in the classroom as students explore their creativity in the areas of academics and the educational issues that effect them.

Migueline Rivera

Posted on 12/27/13 3:49:40 PM Permalink

Good information about Memes


Jan Lay

Posted on 12/27/13 2:16:41 AM Permalink

I like the hotdog legs meme, which uses the image of a "real pair" to mimic another "real pair"... and doesn't even need Photoshop to do it...the setting is enough to complete the illusion...

Petra Perz

Posted on 12/18/13 11:59:31 AM Permalink

The pepper spray one is my favourite. It's got a lot in it to develop with my studens, from politics to jokes.

Melissa Jones

Posted on 12/17/13 11:36:16 PM Permalink

Wanda ClarkeMorin

Posted on 12/16/13 10:32:16 PM Permalink

I had never considered it prior to this assignment, but any Street Fashion Trend could be considered a meme...One of the more recent trends is wearing the same sock, but in 2 different colors..or the same shoe but in 2 different colors.......or in the music world, the whole idea of "twerking" (Twerking is a type of dancing in which an individual dances to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements).....

I am not sure how I would apply this to my future assignments, except as a "need to know"...I will have to put more thought into the possibilites..

I'm really glad, that as I read the comments, that I am not alone in not knowing what a meme was prior to this assignment.

Michael Ross

Posted on 12/16/13 7:19:14 PM Permalink

I too have just learned about memes. I will say the ideas does seem interesting but I'm not completely sold on the idea. I have, however, found a very creative meme that requires you (or at least I) to think twice about what it actually being presented. The following link illustrates my point.

Arlene Bergslien

Posted on 12/9/13 4:07:40 PM Permalink

I didn't know what a meme was. I do get onto facebook and am just learning about An fb friend likes that little cat Bub. Now I have to put this all together in my head. The idea of having students learn to recognize a memes vs truth and answer the questions that Shirley Coles suggests is not only great for young students but for older students. I think this would help (may help) stimulate the rehab of people with brain trauma. Humor often gets lost as well as humor is a great healer.

As for a favorite-new information need more research.

Donna Dancer

Posted on 12/7/13 12:51:51 AM Permalink

At first, I thought of Meme as more creative than I find myself to be at times; however, I have changed my view after viewing examples of meme's since we have created them. Our dog was sitting on the wharf, watching the fish and we created a very funny caption. Using that, I would have students take a photo they have already on their phone and create their own meme. Sometimes, simple becomes so complex.

Miriam Schechter

Posted on 12/5/13 4:40:04 PM Permalink

I really enjoyed the What other people think of me post. I wonder if it could be used to assist in reading comprehension, to ask the kids to take a character in a book or story we are reading, and show what some of the other characters think of him. Sometimes people can explain what they think by finding a picture that illustrates the thought or emotion more easily than they can use words to describe it.

Veronique FournierWynne

Posted on 12/4/13 2:34:52 AM Permalink

It is taking me some time to understand the term of meme. I only can relate to the ones such as Mona Lisa or the moon walk from Michael Jackson.I do not see it everywhere like people do. Because of this if I had to use it in a classroom, it would be very selective.

Imelda Hernández

Posted on 12/2/13 3:46:17 PM Permalink

In social networks I have had the opportunity to see various memes. It had not occurred to me to incorporate an activity like this in my class. Now that I have reviewed the material and teaching purposes can have a meme, I am convinced it can be a meaningful and fun activity for self-knowledge tool.

penny stewart

Posted on 12/2/13 3:18:34 PM Permalink

Never heard of a meme before this class. I don't hangout on the internet, facebook, or twitter, so this is all new to me. I prefer the humorous ones.

kathy chastain

Posted on 12/2/13 4:28:44 AM Permalink

I enjoyed looking at the links and felt that the ERMAHGERD Memes in the Classroom! was especially helpful in getting my thoughts going in this direction. I loved Shirley Coles' idea for an assignment.

Linda Ehley

Posted on 12/1/13 6:55:41 PM Permalink

I cannot say I have a favorite meme -- since I am like others -- just learning. I think an interestings assignment is to pose the same question you did to students and ask them about their favorites.

Kathi Wilson

Posted on 12/1/13 4:25:00 PM Permalink

"What I Really Do" could start some discussion about stereotypes, or perception vs. reality. Pepper spray cop or In The Way Guy could inspire discussion about the historically or culturally significant events pictured with the additional character.

One discussion I have never seen, and possibly it's because I'm the only one that doesn't already know the answer: what constitutes fair use where memes are concerned? I've seen so many memes using photos that I am fairly sure are copyrighted to others. I've also seen one that I'm 100% sure is using a photo copyrighted to someone else without that person's permission - because it's mine. A photo of one of my dogs was used in several "What I Really Do" layouts for the Rottweiler breed. Since it was just a snapshot and she was used to portray one of the positive images, I didn't try to pursue it. But it would seem that had the photo been used in a way I objected to, there is not one thing I could have done anyway. Is that really fair use? When I first saw it, one version had several hundred shares on Facebook alone; that version now has over 15,000 Facebook shares (you can view the link without being logged into Facebook). How would I even begin to track down who first stole (yes, stole) the photo? I don't watermark my photos because I hate the look, but I've always had a copyright notice attached in some other way to almost everything I've put online.

Sorry. That got very long. I've been wondering about it for quite some time.

CarolJane Person

Posted on 12/1/13 4:12:39 PM Permalink

I've never heard of a meme until now. I really have to think about how my students and i can use this concept. We will have fun researching it.

Sara Rapp

Posted on 11/30/13 8:41:20 PM Permalink

I like the "what I really do" meme, and I think students could do good photocollages of that.

lisa mccartney

Posted on 11/30/13 1:30:50 PM Permalink

I have seen these before but never knew it had a name! We do flash mobs at our pep rallies, the students really love seeing their teachers being silly. I like the pepper spray and the Mona Lisa samples, I think students could do a lot with those.


Posted on 11/29/13 12:41:22 PM Permalink

We are constantly working with images and did not know that such productions are called "Meme". I'm learning something new! Super interesting and creative to work in the classroom! Thank Adobe for illuminate new ideas.

John Frick

Posted on 11/29/13 1:37:54 AM Permalink

To be honest I am just learning what a meme is. Thank you for the enlightenment Adobe.

Lacey Hale

Posted on 11/27/13 3:11:46 AM Permalink

I love the Ermehgerd series. It's just such a funny word. And when placed with a photo, it's simply hilarious! I hope to do an assignment with a meme in my class next semester. They are just too much fun to NOT do. Learned so much in week three. Thanks, Adobe and fellow classmates!!

Mary Alice Schmidt

Posted on 11/26/13 7:42:23 PM Permalink

I like the idea of the Mona Lisa memes. Everyone knows what the Mona Lisa looks like. Using the meme application with the Mona Lisa the students can put their own twist on the picture to show what they see, or their ideas.

Brian Buck

Posted on 11/26/13 1:51:49 AM Permalink

Lt. Pike spraying the colonists at the scene of the Boston Massacre! I would say you could do something in my history class to take a famous person to create a Memes

Jean Discorfano

Posted on 11/25/13 11:13:00 PM Permalink

I like the flash mob memes. I think it can show students how to get along with each other. It brings people together in a happy way.

Mary Slumpff

Posted on 11/24/13 11:21:14 PM Permalink

I really like all the Teacher memes...What people think...They are fun and could be used to teach "a picture is worth a thousand words" concept.

Shirley Coles

Posted on 11/24/13 6:57:29 PM Permalink

Using the link below, answer the following questions based on your interpretation of the meme that applies:

  • Learn to recognize memes versus truth (try
  • Define the audience (“remixers”, “sharers”)
  • How was this meme spread?
  • Why did the meme spread?
  • How was the meme created (skills required)?
  • How was the meme remixed?
  • Discuss the collaboration, modification and sharing of memes
  • Identify counter memes
  • Create a remix of a favorite meme or create a counter meme (Using Photoshop)

    Makayla is Not Impressed – United States gymnast McKayla Maroney was photographed with a scowl on her face during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In a show of his knowledge of popular culture, President Obama mugged with Makayla during her November 2012 visit to the White House.