ELA 5: Product of the Times

Today we'll learn about how people tend to write about things that are going on in the time period they live in. You know, kind of like how you're probably writing about the oppressive alien hamster overlords from time to time. How is the future by the way?

5th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:26

You know, those cool, smart, handsome people.

00:28

…Okay, sure, we have a lot of fiction writers at Shmoop. …We like to think we're cool…ish. [Writers working at shmoop]

00:33

Anyway… writers are like sponges.

00:35

They walk around in the world and take in all the sounds and sights and smells around them. [Girl looking at rainbow through binoculars]

00:39

If you've ever read a book that describes a dirty, crowded, smelly street, chances are

00:42

the author is writing from experience.

00:44

And because writers live in a specific time, the state of the world ends up leaving a big [Writer with a pen and paper and bana skin lands on paper]

00:49

mark on their work.

00:50

Someone writing today will have very different concerns from someone writing a hundred years

00:54

in the past, or a hundred years in the future.

00:56

Nobody in the 1800s was writing stories about meeting people on Tinder, just like nobody

01:00

today is writing stories about people meeting on Robotr. [Robot couple together]

01:03

So think about a writer who was working in

01:06

the early '60s, as the Civil Rights Movement was picking up steam.

01:09

Whether they were exposed to it through what they read… [Person reading the Civil Rights paper]

01:11

…what they saw on TV…

01:13

…or what they experienced in the streets, it's reasonable to think that they would have

01:17

thought a lot about the struggle for racial equality. [Man sleeping in bed]

01:20

So when its time for them to write, whether they were writing a movie set in the Old West…

01:24

…Biblical times…

01:25

…or the distant future, the writer might have focused on the theme of racial equality.

01:30

Because it was in their brain. [boys head opens and racial equality inside the brain]

01:32

"On the brain, on the page," we always say.

01:34

Just kidding, that’s the first time we’ve ever actually said that.

01:37

Anyway, whenever you're watching a movie or reading a book, think about when the work [girl reading a book]

01:40

was made, and the influence the time period might have had on the piece.

01:44

We’re gonna go invest in Robotr. See you in the future, Shmoopers! [Roomba cleaning a floor and robot lays beside it]