Culture and Identity: Intertwined and Influential

Sarah Hunter, English, Vance High School

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

200 Word Synopsis

This unit focuses on how culture and identity are linked, developed, and manifest in the individual, groups, and communities. Students question their own identity, how it is formed, and how they contribute to the identity of the very culture that simultaneously influences them. Students consider media influences, family units, chosen social groups, school, community, and country. Diverse cultures are examined to observe how identity formation is a universal process and evaluate the significance of societal (“local”) values in this process. This is a lengthy unit (spanning a quarter) as the overriding idea (the interconnectedness of culture and identity) is present throughout the course material. Each unit in the English IV literary cannon questions how the values, beliefs, and historical happenings influence the authors of the time. Each unit is considered in its time period as students explore how the works are reflective of the current ideals, how they challenge thought and customs, how they express identity for the authors and the culture represented, how they are influences by previous works, and how they influence later works. The cumulative project is a memoir in which the student explores significant factors influences his/her identity and how identity in turn influences life decisions.