ALEX Lesson Plan


Understanding You: Using Understood You in Fiction Writing

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Susanne Harrison
System: Elmore County
School: Stanhope Elmore High School
The event this resource created for:CCRS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33170


Understanding You: Using Understood You in Fiction Writing


In this lesson students will review the use of understood "you" in writing and create their own creative nonfiction essay using understood "you" as the narrative technique.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
3 ) Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed). [RL.11-12.3]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.11.3- Describe how characters interact and develop in a story; identify the setting of a story; identify the problem in a story.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
9 ) By the end of Grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the Grades 11-College and Career Readiness (CCR) text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. [RL.11-12.10]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
12 ) Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text. [RI.11-12.3]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.11.12- Identify the connections between the ideas or events in an informational text.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
15 ) Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text. [RI.11-12.6]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.11.15- Determine the author's point of view and identify parts of the text that helped explain the point of view.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
21 ) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. [W.11-12.3]

a. Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events. [W.11-12.3a]

b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. [W.11-12.3b]

c. Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution). [W.11-12.3c]

d. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. [W.11-12.3d]

e. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative. [W.11-12.3e]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.11.21- Compose narrative texts by introducing characters or a narrator, organizing events in sequence, and providing an ending related to the event sequence.

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
22 ) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 19-21 above.) [W.11-12.4]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
23 ) Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of the first three standards in the Language strand in Grades K-11.) [W.11-12.5]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to:

Explain the purpose of understood you.

Identify the use of understood you.

Evaluate how the use of understood you impacts the tone and impact of essay writing.

Identify the use of understood you in complex nonfiction text.

Locate and correct pronoun usage errors involving the use of understood you.

Create an original narrative essay utilizing understood you.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Copy of Margaret Atwood's "Bread"

Pronoun Grammar Warm-up (focusing on understood you and pronoun shifts)

yellow highlighter

Notebook paper 




Technology Resources Needed:

Interactive Whiteboard



Student should review common errors in pronoun usage.

Students should also review narrative techniques in writing.



1.  Students should read "Bread" by Margaret Atwood.

2.  As the students read “Bread,” they should highlight each “you” they see in the selection.

3.  Review the concepts of understood you and imperative statements.

4.  Students will “turn and talk” discussing the rhetorical impact of addressing the reader and interacting with the reader.

5.  Students should share their thoughts/evaluation of Margaret Atwood’s use of you throughout her passage.

6.  Using Atwood’s “Bread” as a model, students should select an object and compose an essay exploring the significance of the object.

The student essay must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Must use 2nd person narration (you and understood you)
  • Each paragraph must introduce a new scene                    
  • The same item/object must be discussed in each paragraph.                                                              
  • At least one literary work must be discussed in connection with the object in one paragraph of the essay.


Assessment Strategies

Students will complete grammar warm-up.

Students will compose their own narrative essay using "you and understood you" as the narrative techique.

Students will revise and edit their own narrative essays elminating all pronoun shifts.



As an extension of this activity, students can create and publish an online creative writing journal featuring their "Understood You" essays.


Students in need of extra support while completing this lesson can be paired up with stronger students.

Students can work in groups to create/compose group essays.

The teacher may spend additional time reviewing pronoun agreement (person) and unnecessary pronoun shifts in writing.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.