Cultural Studies Unit Plan: Romanic Relationships in Modern Culture
11th grade
4 weeks

Description of Unit
In today’s high schools the only thing students learn about relationships is what they learn in health class. Sure, learning about relationships happen naturally in the high school environment, but I believe it Is crucial to talk to high school students about relationships, focusing on the ones romantic in nature. This subject directly connects to the lives of students, and in today’s modern culture is becoming a problem. The goal of this unit plan is bring attention to the way in which popular culture affects romantic relationships. Challenging students to look critically at how the world around them affects the way in which they view such things as gender roles, stereotypes, and how young adults handle relationships in many different facets. Students will be able to examine different perspectives of the topic from being in groups and discuss the main themes and concepts of the novel they are reading. Students will also be able to examine different perspectives on the overlying theme of relationships by having multiple groups share what conclusions they have come to after reading the selected text of their own group. This topic may cause some controversy, especially between male and female students. An important part of this unit is to address gender roles and stereotypes in today’s society, and then break them down.

For this unit, I have found that the best way to see multiple facets of modern day relationships is to take this unit on using literature circles. Having choice, and having most of the novels being of a more contemporary nature, will help with student interest. There is power in student choice that connects students personally to the reading. Having students work in groups focusing on one novel per group, and then cumulating in the last week by pulling everything together with group presentations.

Expectations of Literature Circles
This unit should be very guided in the first week, and then most of the schedule will be decided by the students. All groups will have 2 weeks to complete their novels, and then a week to discuss how they want to present their book to the class. This unit focuses on the importance to teach student accountability. It is up to the students to determine their novel of choice, reading schedule, their assigned roles, their final presentation, as well as the member of their groups and their own grade.

Introduction to Unit
(One Week)
In the beginning of this unit, the teacher should have students first define what they think a romantic relationship means in today’s culture. This also should include their ideas of how that applies to them. Then there needs to be an open discussion about relationships in the high school setting in today’s culture. This needs to be teacher guided, but a very open discussion. Gender roles, expectations, and other touchy subjects need to be addressed. This may take two days, since the teacher will read the responses of the students, and measure the temperature of the room. throughout the unit supplemental text will be used depending on the conversations that rise throughout the unit.The rest of this unit will be student driven, as they will chose their book, roles, and reading schedule. The teacher will discuss what each role entails, as well as discuss each novel in brief and let each student preview each novel for themselves.

Daily routine (two weeks)
(Students are in groups of four)
1. Discuss the reading based on the questions the discussion director has created.
Examples of meaningful questions:
- What was going through your mind when you read X?
- What seemed to be an important development of the plot?
- What didn’t make sense?
2. Then the floor is given to the Literary Luminary whose job is to talk about key lines and quotes, as well as details that popped out to them. This should lead into a discussion about how those lines, quotes, or details are important, and how it connects to the chapter as well as the progressing themes of the novel.
3. The floor then goes to the Vocabulary Enricher, whom points out important, unfamiliar words. With the word, definition, and the word in the context of the sentence in which it was found. Around three words is appropriate.
4. The floor then goes to the connecter, whose job is to facilitate a discussion on how the section of reading may apply to the real world around them, as well as their own real world. This should be an open discussion, with the connecter facilitating the discussion.
5. In the last 20 minutes of class, each group will bring up one interesting line, or situation within the book that everyone in their group saw some importance in. (this is where the teacher can measure what possible articles, or topics to bring into the classroom.)

Final Project (one week)
Students will decide how they plan on presenting their experience of reading their novel to the class. Students will have three days in class to plan, with the last two days to present.

Students will assess their peers as well as themselves, with the teacher giving a final grade on their group presentation.

The options students have on book choice should vary in reading levels. Also, students should be aware of what role they chose to partake in, and the expectations of that role beforehand. This will ensure that students at all reading levels will be able to accomplish assignments, as well as have the support of their peers and teacher throughout the entire process.

Standards Adressed:
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful.

Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

Suggested Text Set:
All these texts all have different takes on adolecent romantic relationships and the conflicts that occour within them.


The Truth About Forever

The summer after her father's death,
Macy plans to work at the library andwait for her brainy boyfriend to return
from camp; instead, she goes to work
at a catering business where she
makes new friends and finally faces her grief.
Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park is defiantly not the typical high school romance. Eleanor
is the new girl, the girl with the crazy
red hair and the strange clothes. Park is
the quiet Asian boy who does everything
in his power to avoid bringing attention
to himself: until Eleanor walks onto the bus.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson

When two teens, one gay and one straight, meet accidentally and
discover that they share the same name,
their lives become intertwined as one
begins dating the other's best friend,
who produces a play revealing
his relationship with them both.

Katherine and Michael, along withvarious
friends and acquaintances in
suburban New Jersey, discover the
possibilities and limitations of love and personal commitment — and some
interesting names for body parts.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

In a thought-provoking, coming-of-age
novel, teenager Charlie struggles to cope
with the complex world of high school.
He deals with the confusions of sex and love,
the temptations of drugs and the pain of losing a close friend and favorite aunt