Welcome to Ms. di's
Language Arts HOMEPAGE!!!
"This is a picture of a liger. It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed--bred for its skills in magic."
Cultural Literacy is the knowledge of idioms, allusions, and other trivia which make up a shared body of information within a community. We all use these references in conversation and in writing--sometimes without even being aware of it.
Consider the picture and caption above. It is an example of Cultural Literacy because it makes reference to the movie Napoleon Dynamite. If you are unfamiliar with the movie, it probably doesn't seem that funny. If you have seen the movie, however, it might remind you of that silly expression on Napoleon's face as he draws or maybe even of some "sweet jumps." The point is to make reference to a collection of ideas or images without explaining all the details.
In my class, we review several commonly used metaphors and phrases and discuss their origins. Literature is filled with references, so I feel it's important to equip my students with a knowledge of our Cultural Literacy to better inform their reading.