It’s All a Matter of Perspective: Meaning in Text Situated in Context

Lindsey E. Elkins, English, Providence High School

Full Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


200-word synopsis:

I have three main objectives I hope to address and accomplish with this unit. First, I want my students to become healthy skeptics of media they examine. I want students to think critically about different texts—print and nonprint—and learn to question the text in order to identify meanings and articulate those meanings through discussion and writing. Second, I want students to understand that different contexts inform our reading of a text—to understand that the text is situated in time, culture, and within itself. Texts are not created in a vacuum; we have to take into consideration that texts are created and interpreted from various perspectives. This is especially important as we study the various periods of American literature. Third, I want students to use theory as a way of reading and making sense of a text. I want theory and the corresponding academic vocabulary to act as tools for articulating intuitive thoughts behind a student’s reading of a text. I want students to look for and identify patterns that cry out for examination. I want students to read closely, noticing how small details can greatly contribute to the overall meaning of a text.