Crash Course: Code Switching and Writing for All Audiences

Torrie Edwards, English, W.A. Hough High School

Final Unit (PDF)     Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

“Crash Course” is a ten day, end of semester curriculum unit for English II students (although it is readily adaptable for upper level English courses as well). This plan focuses on the various types of writing students will encounter in their teenage years, including emails to friends, job application short answer questions, and college admissions essays. “Crash Course” aims to reinforce previous grammar instruction through a complex understanding of the many different purposes of language. This curriculum unit exposes students to philosophical research and statistics that explain how language is a powerful tool with which they may achieve a range of goals. As students read sophisticated informational texts, they are pushed to combine their new knowledge of language with their understanding of grammar conventions in order to master a wide variety of writing tasks. Students gain useful life skills through this unit; for example, there is an entire day dedicated to writing résumés and cover letters for different types of jobs, as there is also a day dedicated to writing college application and scholarship essays. In short, through the “Crash Course” curriculum unit, students learn the importance of thoughtful language construction in completing both low and high stakes writing assignments.