Two Way Mirror: Revealing information about the narrator and other characters in "The House on Mango Street"

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SWBAT collect information about the relationships between Esperanza in "The House on Mango Street" and people in her neighborhood.

Big Idea

Go Figure--Students determine how figurative language and other stylistic elements in a section of a text reveal information about the narrator-character relationships.

Do Now

8 minutes

For the "Do Now," I am allowing five minutes for students to complete pre-reading #2 from pg. 7 of

Here's the question:

Pre-reading #2 question: Is living in a house your family owns different from living in a house or apartment your family rents? How? Are renters, owners and homeless people all considered equal citizens in America? Why or why not?

I chose to use this as the "Do Now" because it will connect the previous class's reading to today's reading (pp. 12-25). In this section of the text, Esperanza uses several stylistic elements to introduce the people in her neighborhood. I want students to think about the relationships, personalities, and attitudes of Esperanza and her neighbors. I will be collecting these after the 4th pre-reading, so look for sample responses in upcoming lessons.

Application: Sharing previous day's vignettes

10 minutes

Yesterday, students did a phenomenal job of writing vignettes about a particular character trait of their families. The goal was to explain how the stylistic devices used in the student-written vignettes convey information about the family member's personality and the relationship between the writer and the family member. We were unable to share them in the previous lesson, so I want to pause, share and celebrate the creative writing of their peers.This prepares them for the type of speaking and listening that will be required in future courses and in college AND it's in the Common Core and it will require that they APPLY the skills they have learned in the previous lesson to orally analyze their classmate's work.

Sometimes, students don't listen to one another as they are presenting, so I always have an expectation of the audience as they are listening. Holding them accountable is my specialty! The Common Core CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1a requires that students refer to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas, so I will be asking them to determine how the devices used by the writer help convey information about the family. Students will be aware that I will be cold-calling them, so they need to be listening and ready to respond.

Building Knowledge

10 minutes

Essentially, today's lesson is more practice on analyzing the effect of stylistic elements on the meaning of a text. As they read the next few chapters of "The House on Mango Street," they will be gathering evidence about the relationships between Esperanza and her neighbors. I'll tell them that by the end of the reading today, I want them to be able to share some insights about Esperanza and her neighbors based on the stylistic elements (figurative language, sound elements, and other word choices) used CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4. They will examine the stylistic choices that the author makes by completing a Stylistic Elements Chart. I am having my students chart these ideas because they will need to pick out the most convincing evidence in a constructed response at the end of the lesson. Common core... here we come: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1 requires that students cite strong and thorough evidence, and students must take it to the next level of "convincing" evidence in order to score at the highest level on the PARCC rubric for writing.

Since we have worked on this a bit this year, I am skipping to guided practice as a way of seeing whether they can pick out devices and explain what they mean. I will ask students to work with me to select a stylistic element and complete the chart for that element as a whole class. This will also be a way of modeling the expectations for the completion of the chart. For example, if you want complete sentences, model it. If you want a thorough explanation, model it. If it helps, think of yourself as a supermodel of ELA expectations for excellent work!

Application: Independent Practice

30 minutes

For this activity, my students will work with a partner to chart their evidence from from pp. 12-25. I am allowing them to work with partners because they tend to collect better evidence when they have someone to bounce ideas off. This is also a great strategy when you know that some students could benefit from participating in the thought process of stronger students. Collecting and citing evidence is a skill that we will be using throughout the year and is one of the key shifts in the Common Core.

The video resource shows students attempting to discover what the stylistic elements reveal about Esperanza.


Self-Selected Reading

20 minutes

As students read their self-selected texts today, they will apply the skills we have been practicing in class by finding at least two stylistic elements and journaling what they reveal about the writer or speaker and that writer or speaker's relationship with other characters. After about ten minutes of reading time, I will confer with a couple of students that may have struggled with the classwork or a couple of students with whom I have not conferred yet.

These conferences are one of the ways that students get one-on-one time with me. I also get to see how they are progressing with their reading. I can "police" their progress in case they aren't really reading, OR I can just do an overall check-up. Okay, so you're a supermodel AND a doctor in this lesson. SSR conference will allow you to diagnose next steps for students. Make sure you're keeping a log of these conferences.