We make decisions about others all the time because of the way they talk. This assignment asks students to decide how others will talk based on descriptions of who they are.
For example, one person is a police officer. Another is a wealthy person from a family that's been wealthy for generations. The assignment has a decent cross-section of society with 17 choices, but it's easy to swap one out for one of your favorites.
I've provided 12 phrases to get you started. The goal is to use two pre-selected phrases and one original phrase per speaker, but that's entirely up to the teacher.
I had one student one time suggest this assignment was "classist or something." All I did was ask her to pretend she was writing a story with the given characters. If they all sound exactly the same in your head, then you'd have a pretty boring story. Basically, if people don't sound different based on education, wealth, employment, or region, then we all sound pretty much the same and are pretty boring.
Being able to see the differences in speaking is important to those in charge and to those who want to be in charge. The woman who was standing in line behind me at the store and continuously swearing at her elementary school-aged children will never be in charge of anything important. That's obvious and shouldn't bother any of us. However, language as a free pass or a handicap is a real issue, and this lesson gives students a chance to think about it. Provide some good guidance, and you've got a winner of an assignment.