Place

Issue 4.2          August 2022          

In this mini-unit we’ll explore how four of the pieces in Write the World Review 4.2 express ideas related to place and how perceptions of a place can be altered through experience.


Please adapt, condense, or expand the following lesson ideas as you see fit, according to your class’s needs and your curricular goals. We hope you’ll reach out to our teacher liaison at Lori@WritetheWorld.com with any questions or suggestions, or to tell us how your class engaged with Write the World Review!


Pre-Reading Quick-Write:


Where was one of the last new places you visited? Perhaps this was a new town, city, or country… or perhaps a new park near your home, a new forest, or a new street. 


As you remember visiting this new place, consider  how aspects were different from your home…or your town…or your country? What stood out to you  visiting this new place? What did it make you realize about your own home, street, town, city, or country? Did it make you see through a new lens? How so? Spend a few minutes thinking about these questions and then free-write for five minutes. Your writing can explore these questions or other related experiences that come to mind as you write.


Read:


  1. I Want Better

  2. Flavorless

  3. Archipelago

  4. The Early Days


Discuss:


The following questions could work well for a class discussion, small group discussions, or written responses in the form of short essays or reflections.


  • In “I Want Better,” the writer is passionate about using positive representation to change some people’s perception of her community. This op-ed portrays the ways in which others’ biases or attitudes might influence their feelings about a place. What perceptions about a place or community that you love would you like to alter for others? In other words, what is something that others might not understand about this community or place that you love? Further, how might you persuade others to change their preconceived notions?

  • Re-read the first two lines and the final two lines of the poem "Flavorless." How does the word choice of these lines and the use of line breaks emphasize their tone? How do these opening and closing lines contribute to the overall theme of the poem?

  • How would you describe the relationship or distinctions between "viewpoint" and "perspective" as seen in the poem "Archipelago"? How does the change in speaker at the end of the poem emphasize the poet's message?

  • In the personal reflection "The Early Days," the writer describes feeling "a bit dazed" on her family's first night in a new home. She also states at the end of the piece that now, four years later, she has a different perspective of her big move to this place. What does this author want readers to understand about her experience of moving—and also about her changed perspective years later? Can you think of a time in your own life where the passage of time or new experiences changed your perspective on a place, idea, or practice?


Write:


Essay: Choose one of the following statements (each inspired by one of the four pieces in this mini-unit) as the basis for your own thesis statement. Feel free to tailor these statements to fit your own argument/thesis: 


  • The way a place is represented in tv, film, and other media has real consequences for everyday people 

  • Sacrifice is sometimes necessary part of making a positive change for yourself or your family

  • Remembering your role in a particular environment is your responsibility as a traveler and as a citizen

  • Sometimes new experiences or visiting new places causes you to change in unexpected ways


Then, write an essay in which you draw from any of the four pieces in this mini unit as evidence to support your original ideas. You also may gather evidence from outside reading/resources/articles of your choosing, and also from personal experiences.


Teacher's note: This hybrid approach—part literary analysis, part research-based writing, part personal essay—creates a unique piece of writing that goes beyond the traditional 5-paragraph essay and allows the writer’s voice—and unique perspective—to shine.

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