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
For ease of use and customization, we have made it easy for teachers to download the full unit, in pieces and the files are available in PDF and Word for your customization.