Esperanza Rising

Literature
Grades 6-7
Four Weeks

Overview

In this unit the students will be given the opportunity to explore a number of prevalent issues in the United States through a modern fictional literature narrative that follows the life of a young Mexican-American girl who must overcome many obstacles in a coming of age novel. The central character of the novel and setting allow for a deep exploration of Mexican Culture and customs and the Mexican-American experience, which is often full of misconceptions. Through Esperanza’s journey, students will explore a variety of topics such as the loss of a father at an early age, illegal migration to the United States, poverty, child labor, the American Dream, that all eventually lead to the development of her as a character that has undergone change as a result of overcoming obstacles.

Objectives

  • o Understand the elements of a personal narrative including point of view from protagonist’s perspective and be able to write narrative piece from personal experience.
  • o Understand the historical background and political issues found within a fictional text.
  • o Understanding they relationships that exist between characters and how they add to the development of the protagonist’s character development.
  • o Ability to learn about and understand different cultural traditions and how they add to the meaning of a text.
  • o Know how to conduct research regarding certain topic addressed in a text and preset it to peers.
  • Activities

  • Write personal narrative about a personal obstacle that has been presented in the lives of students.
  • o Students will write a personal narrative of at least two pages in length using what they have learned in class to derive from a personal experience that presented itself as an obstacle in their life
  • o Group discussions pertaining central topics of novel.
  • o Students will be asked to collaborate in a literature circle style seminar to discuss the text, pose questions, and explore in depth theme/ideas conveyed in the text.
  • o Mini-Research Project about topic of choice that is an issue of concern derived from the text.
  • o Students will be put into groups of three and will be given class time to pick a theme from the novel that exists in the real world and continues to affect individuals today. They are to familiarize themselves with the issue and present it to their peers.
  • o Class presentation regarding research.
  • o Students will be graded according to contributions to group according to their peers in addition to the information presented and the manner in which it is conveyed.

Essential Questions

  • How do people overcome adversity?
  • o What lessons can we learn about human rights through literature?
  • o Is the American Dream still a possibility?

Standards

R.L.6.2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details. Provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
R.L.6.6: Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
S.L.6.4: Present claims and findings sequencing idea logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
S.L.6.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics; texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Schedule

Week 1
Introduction
Text Preview & Inquiry

Historical Background Info

Introduction of Mexican Traditions
Esperanza Rising Ch. 1&2

Quick-Write

Class discussion with guided questions and notes
Esperanza Rising Ch. 3&4

Class discussion with guided questions and notes
Esperanza Rising Ch. 5&6

Quick-Write

Class discussion with guided questions and notes
Esperanza Rising Ch. 7&8

Class discussion with guided questions and notes
Week 2
Esperanza Rising Ch. 8&9

Quick-Write

Class discussion with guided questions and notes
Esperanza Rising Ch. 10&11

Class discussion with guided questions and notes
Esperanza Rising Ch. 12&13

Quick-Write

Class discussion with guided questions and notes
Esperanza Rising Ch. 14

Class discussion with guided questions and notes
End of Book Discussion

Development of Major themes (group work with posters)
Week 3
Narratives

Notes including class exercise using text

Intro to Personal Narrative
Brainstorm

Class time to work on essay
Class time to work on essay

Peer Edit
Peer edit continued

Final corrections
Class time to type
Week 4
Development of issues presented in Text

Mini-Research Project Introduction
Group divisions and research time
Research time
Group Presentations
Group Presentations