Weekend Culture: New Year’s Resolutions Day One

Ugh, it’s that time of year again.  A time when I optimistically set goals to make me a better person.  Yet, in roughly two months, I will have lost track of my resolutions and will be back to my old self, someone who is complacently resigning herself to financial debt and eating her feelings. 

However, the start of the new year encourages reflection when setting resolutions and lends itself to academic musing too.  This weekend’s post will provide two types of suggestions:

  1. Analyzing resolutions
  2. Constructing resolutions from various perspectives

Begin the talk of resolutions by asking students to generate a list of what they believe the most popular resolutions are.  This portion could be extended by asking students to determine what they believe are popular for a particular year.  Then, ask them to synthesize the resolutions by asking the following types of questions:

  1. What elements/attitudes link the resolutions?
  2. Why is it significant that these are common resolutions (set only when reflecting on the previous year) and not necessarily a daily affirmation or a lifestyle?
  3. What is revealed about American’s morals and values because of the common resolutions they set? 
  4. If resolutions are rarely met, what is revealed about American’s dedication to these particular areas? 

Finally, ask students to apply their knowledge by suggesting one resolution for the country based on their knowledge of current events and American morals and values.  Their resolution must condense a variety of perspectives and knowledge.  

If wanting to model the AP English Language exam more closely, you could also ask them to generate a list of things that must be considered when establishing a resolution that reflects the current state of America.

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