Some of your students seem to have superglued their hands to their cell phones; for others, it is their eyes that have been permanently affixed. Why do so many students find their personal technology more appealing than the real humans on around them . . . and what might be the long-term consequences of this? These are the questions this unit will address – first, through the rhetorical analysis of various articles on the effects of cell phones and social media, and then, through a careful study of dystopian fiction. Ultimately, students will draw their own conclusions and share their learning through letters to middle school students and a creative writing piece that suggests what will happen next.
A few of your students may whine about the work you are giving them. They may rage, rage against the dying of the light emanating from their cell phones. They may claim that teachers and parents just don’t understand. But ultimately they will be better educated, more prescient, less addicted, more creative, and of better use to their communities. I think it is worth the fight.
(Developed for Creative Writing and English, grade 10; recommended for English, grades 9-12)