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Kelli Nemetz

Task Two: Write a Lesson Plan

A Context
This lesson plan is written for a third-grade classroom in Grand Rapids,
Michigan. The classroom is mostly white speakers of Standard English but
is also made up of about one-fourth African American Vernacular English
speakers and a couple ELL migrant workers. The classroom is very
Language-Arts based because of this mix of languages. This lesson takes
place further into the year, after the students have been working hard on
their grammar skills. This lesson takes place after a big unit on sentence-
building, and working on some sentence structure skills. After this lesson,
there would be more lessons similar to this using a contrastive approach
to teach AAVE rules and understanding as well as eventually teaching the
importance of code-switching. This lesson, as well as the hypothetical
lessons following, would provide the AAVE speakers the tools to
understand how to code-switch and non-AAVE speakers the understanding
that AAVE is a real rule-governed language.
B Objective
Compare formal and informal uses of English.

Students will identify and practice how to show possessives in

informal/AAVE and formal/Standard English.
C Lesson Plan

Introduction Whole group setting, with big board with

paper, how whole-group sessions usually are

We have been working VERY hard on learning

our formal grammar and how to build
sentences! Today, we are going to look at how
a different language-style of English uses
different grammar and then well build some
new sentences together. The new language
we will be looking at is one we have been
working on all year, called African American
Venacular English (AAVE). In our classroom,
we will be calling AAVE informal English and
the language we write and speak in in school
formal English. This doesnt mean either
language is right or wrong, they just have
different purposes. This is not the first
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introduction to AAVE and its culture. This has

been taught throughout the year.

Today we are going to be learning one of the

specific ways that informal English is different
than the formal English.

Introduction Activity Who remembers how we show that

something belongs to someone in formal

Use an apostrophe to form contractions and
frequently occurring possessive.

Do this as a sort of Word Wall with student-

given examples and definitions. This standard
was previously taught.

Student Active Great job with all of these examples! In

Engagement formal English, we put an apostrophe after the
owner to show what they own, like in the
example: My neighbors cat is striped. In
informal English, or AAVE, showing what
belongs to someone is a little different.
Instead of using the apostrophe with an s,
informal language puts the owner next to the
object owner. Take time to go through the
student examples in formal English and
identify who is the owner and what is the
owned. Great! So in the sentence My
neighbors cat is striped. The neighbor is
the owner and the cat is the owned! Lets look
at a couple versions of the sentences weve
already written now translated into informal
English and see if you can figure out who is
the owner and what is owned. Ex: My
neighbor cat is striped. Go through
examples translated into informal English with
students figuring out the owner and owned.
After all examples are finished with whole-
class, begin discussion about what differences
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they see between informal and formal


Wrapping up. Great work with all of these

examples! You were able to figure out the new
rule on your own! Instead of adding an
apostrophe and an s to the owner before the
object owned, in informal English, there is no
apostrophe or s added. The person who is
the owner is placed first, and then the thing
being owned is put directly after it. Now that
we have a good idea of this, were going to
work in our table groups with some sentences
written in informal English and some
sentences written in formal English and
translate them!

Group Student Active

Engagement Activity: Worksheet attached below

Closing Gather class whole group like the beginning

Activity/Assessment: of this lesson. Great work working on those
sentences with your group! I can see that
youre really starting to understand the rule
different between formal and informal English.
Were going to do one more activity all
together! Each of you will be getting a
sentence written in either formal or informal
English. Your job is to figure out by yourself
which it is. I will pass out the sentences
(bigger, laminated possessive sentences with
Velcro on the back) and you will think to
yourself for a few minutes which type of
English it is and why. Allow a few minutes to
decide. Now I will use our class name sticks
to call you up one by one and have you put
your sentence on either our formal English
list or our informal English list [big empty
lists on board with Velcro spots so they stick].
Call students up and have them put their
sentences up on the board and explain briefly
why they think they go there. Afterwards,
review as a whole-class.
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Name: ______________
AAVE Grammatical Rules
Possessives: In African American Vernacular English, showing that
something belongs to something else is written differently that in Standard
English. In formal English, writers use s to show who or what owns
something, but in informal English, the owner goes in front of the thing that
is owned.
Formal English: Informal English:

Joses family lives in both Mexico

and Michigan.

Alexs dad works at DTE Energy.

Sarah dog is big and has brown


My mom car is getting fixed in the

shop today.

Juans favorite season is winter.

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Merediths moms pick her up from

school every day.

Dimitri eyes are hazel.

Jorges favorite subject in school is


Your own example:

D How this lesson plan draws on ideas from Code Switching

This lesson plan draws ideas from the text by applying contrastive
analysis, which as a tool used commonly when teaching a second language.
It is the comparing the differences in structure of two different languages in
order to figure out how hard it would be for someone to master a given
second language. Using contrastive analysis charts enables the students to
be able learn the systematic and detailed differences of the new language
and their native language in order to learn the second language more
effectively. Our lesson plan focuses on possessive, which we created a
contrastive analysis chart for. We have an example of the pattern directly
under the title of our worksheet, then we have two sections to our chart:
informal and formal English. This chart is helping students to be able to
discover the pattern for informal possessive English along with formal
possessive English. We are not however having the main focus of each
sentence previously underlined for them because we will be leading a
discussion of on informal and formal possessive English with examples given
before the worksheet is passed out, and the students should already have a
good enough idea of what they should be looking for without the additional