Featured Article: “It’s Slime. And It’s Satisfying.”
“Slime content has invaded the satisfaction internet and oozed into the American middle school. Slime is an art form, a community and an industry: sensory gratification tubbed and sold,” Amanda Hess writes about that sticky substance between liquid and solid.
In this lesson, students explore the appeal of slime among young people and then write their own pieces about the trends and fads they think symbolize modern childhood.
Do you or have you ever played with slime? What do you like (or dislike) about it?
Before you read, watch the video below and scroll through some of the other videos and images in today’s featured article. Take note of the different sensations you have as you look at them. What do you see, hear, feel, taste and smell when you see these images? How do they make you feel?
Questions for Writing and Discussion
Read the article, then answer the following questions:
1. Amanda Hess begins the article by writing, “One of the internet’s greatest features is satisfaction on demand.” What does she mean by that? How is slime an example of that?
2. What role do the five senses — sight, sound, smell, taste and touch — play in the experience of slime?
3. How does Chloe Park, the creator of Slime New York, wield these senses to market and sell her product? Are her efforts successful?
4. How is slime “a symbol of modern childhood, and in particular, girlhood,” according to Ms. Hess? Do you agree with her assessment? Why or why not?
5. Ms. Hess argues that part of slime’s appeal is that it is an “escape” from our screens and other worries intensified by the internet. She ends the article by writing:
It is probably not a coincidence that slime has risen just as we have come to define ourselves by our anxieties, our food issues, and our efforts to fend it all off with practices of self-care. The internet can replicate and exacerbate these stressors, but slime can work in the opposite way, as a kind of timeline cleanse. The word “satisfy” comes from the Old French satisfaire, which meant to repay or make reparations. Perhaps that is what slime is: the internet’s atonement for everything else.
Do you agree? Why do you think slime is trending at this moment?
Amanda Hess, the author of this piece, is an adult writing about a fad that is largely popular among children and teenagers. Does her assessment of modern childhood and young people’s love of slime speak to your own experience of being a teenager today?
If not, try your hand at writing an article about a trend or fad that is popular among your peers. It can be short — just a paragraph or two — or as long as the one you read today.
Use Ms. Hess’s piece as a model for your own writing. Like her, you might:
Choose a trend that you think is a “symbol of modern childhood.”
Describe it and explain why you think young people find it appealing.
Then, analyze it: What does it say about the world or teenage life today?
If you have more time, you might incorporate some other good journalism practices: Conduct research online to see what others have written about the trend. Interview your classmates or other experts and include their quotes in your article. Add images, videos, tweets or Instagram posts that help illustrate your point. Finally, share your piece with your classmates or another audience.