Michelle Tufano, English, West Mecklenburg High School
200 Word Synopsis
This investigative grammar unit specifically explores a philosophy that is culturally relevant to high school students: the way you speak dictates how others see you and treat you. Students will explore literature and multi-media in which characters are viewed as either high-society or low-class, based on how they talk (focusing specifically on diction, word choice, vernacular and various sentence structure). They will find that language is both inclusive and exclusive: it brings people together, while also segregating social classes and regional groups: It is essentially a lasting legal form of discrimination. Students will compare both fictional characters and modern celebrities to situations they have experienced, or have witnessed in their own lives. By exploring grammar as a tool of upward social mobility, students will increase the understanding that their own speech affects how they are seen and observed by others. Further, the deep reading skills, seminar-style structure, and peer collaboration that drive this unit serve as a pathway for a college-ready scholar. The skills and mindsets built into “Language as a Gate Keeper” are in themselves on an early college level. Through this unit students will practice and utilize writing, communication and grammar skills in a practical and productive way.