Words Matter: HS ELA Unit

Words Matter thumbHow is it that words can mean so much more than their dictionary definitions? How can a single word choice or a pattern of word choices impact the meaning of a text?

Students explore these essential questions in this literary analysis unit, which centers on how words carry multiple layers of meaning and how authors purposely choose words to convey deeper meanings. Students develop their textual analysis skills through a gradual release of responsibility, beginning by collaboratively analyzing the impact of word choice on tone and meaning in rich texts such as Pat Mora’s “Same Song,” Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays,” and Sandra Cisneros’s “Eleven.” After additional small-group practice and instruction on how to develop a focused thesis and structure an explanatory essay on a complex topic, students individually complete a final performance task in which they explain the effect of George Orwell’s diction in his essay, “Shooting an Elephant.”

The unit is designed with the intent for students to transfer the skill of identifying
and explaining the intentional word choices authors make to craft a message.

Download this unit: High School ELA

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Words Matter

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Teachers

Words Matter: Common Assignment 1 (Pre-Assessment) PDF or Word

Words Matter: Common Assignment 2 (Pre-Module Formative Assessment) PDF or Word

Words Matter: Common Assignment 3 (LDC Task and Module) PDF or Word

Students

Words Matter: Common Assignment 1 (Pre-Assessment) PDF or Word

Words Matter: Common Assignment 2 (Pre-Module Formative Assessment) PDF or Word

Words Matter: Common Assignment 3 (LDC Task and Module) PDF or Word