In this lesson, students are asked to consider how they are situated within the world around them–locally, nationally, and globally. Students will identify contemporary issues, being sure to define them as controversial contemporary issues, happening locally, nationally, and globally. Students will then categorize these issues and evaluate what this reflects about our current social, historical, and cultural climate. Students will then consider how they are situated within this climate, how they respond to these issues, and how it changes the way we create and perceive messages.

Common Core Objectives:

9-10.L.3: Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

9-10.SL.1: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one. in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

  1. Come to discussions prepared. having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
  2. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
  3. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.

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    Lauren Peterson (Master of Arts, Education) has been teaching AP® English Language and Composition in a number of states for more than ten years, most recently at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where she is also the schoolwide literacy leader. Before this position, Lauren served as a curriculum and instructional coach in Duval County, Florida. Lauren worked for College Board on a pilot curriculum designed to remediate common AP® English Language challenges and prepare students for Microsoft Office Specialist Certification. As an independent consultant for the National Math and Science Initiative, Lauren has written diverse curricula used by students across the country as well as training materials for beginning and experienced AP® English Language teachers. Lauren served as an AP® English Language Reader and continues to work as an AP® English Language trainer for new and experienced teachers.