Beacon Lesson Plan Library

This Lesson is Totally Trippy Man

Debbie Hartley


A fun way to link the past to the present is through the identification of slang terms. Small group work, interviewing of parents, relatives or neighbors helps students discover slang is not unique to their generation but has existed for a long time.


The student identifies slang, both past and present.


-Board marker
-One large piece of construction paper (18" x 24") for every group of 4 students
-One box of markers for each group of 4 students
-Cooperative Worker Rubric (see Associated File)
-Poster Scoring Rubric (see Associated File)


1. Visit the website listed below.
2. Gather materials (see materials list).
3. Download Associated Files and make copies as necessary.


Session 1: This Lesson is Totally Trippy Man

1. Greet students with, “Welcome all you cool cats. You’re all looking peachy today. Today’s lesson is totally trippy, man!"

2. After they stop laughing or looking puzzled, give the definition of slang and tell them slang is not just something used by their generation, that it has been around for a long, long time. Explain that over the next 2 days they will be identifying current slang and slang that was used when their parents were younger.

3. Ask the students to give school appropriate examples of slang they use and write them on the board with the translations.

4. Divide the class into groups of 4. Remind groups of the rules for working in small groups. (Discuss the aspects listed on the Cooperative Worker Rubric from the Associated File.)

5. Instruct the group to elect a recorder. (The one person who will be responsible for writing down what the group comes up with.) Instruct recorder to make sure that all group members’ names are on the paper.

6. Next, instruct the groups to talk about the slang they use. Tell them you will be giving them 25 minutes to identify and record at least 10 (school appropriate) slang words or phrases they currently use along with their translations. (The recorder will write them down and include the translation of them.)

7. As the students are working, circulate to offer encouragement and/or help when needed. Also, check to make sure students are working cooperatively.

8. After 25 minutes, have the groups stop. Collect the papers from the recorder. (Check these before the next session to offer written feedback.)

9. Next, instruct students about their individual homework: Each student is to interview family members, friends and/or neighbors over the age of 30 to obtain a list of at least 10 slang words or phrases and their translations that they used when they were a young teenager.

Session 2: This Lesson is Totally Trippy Man

1. Have the students divide into their groups from session 1. Redistribute the groups’ recordings from session 1.

2. Model how students are to make their charts by using their information and recording it on the board. Instruct students to be as creative as possible and to remember the rules for group work as previously discussed.

3. Alert students to the grading criteria (written on the board) for the poster. Use the Poster Scoring Rubric (See Associated File).
***All posters must include:
10 past slang expressions
10 current slang expressions
translations for ALL slang expressions.

4. Instruct students to begin working.

5. As the students are working, circulate and make sure all students completed the previous night’s assignment and offer suggestions and/or help as needed. Complete the Cooperative Worker Rubric (see Associated File).

6. Collect and assess student projects.


1. Look over and offer feedback on the group papers from session one.

2. Use the Poster Scoring Rubric (see Associated File) to formatively assess the posters for the students’ ability to identify 10 past slang expressions, identify 10 present slang expressions, and identify correct translations of all slang expressions.

3. Use the Cooperative Worker Rubric (see Associated File) to formatively assess the students as cooperative workers.


1. This activity can become a multicultural activity by having the students research the slang of other countries.
2. Students could write a play that includes the slang expressions.
3. Students could create a Power Point presentation.

Web Links

A website with links to lists of slang terms from different cities around the world.

Attached Files

Cooperative Worker Rubric and a Poster Scoring Rubric.     File Extension: pdf

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