We begin today with our second writer's mini workshop, this time using the writing assignment about a coming-of-age moment that was assigned the previous lesson. I expect more participation this round, now that students have experienced the mini writer's workshop. In fact, in some classes during the first workshop, I had to turn down students in order to move ahead with the lesson. I find that my students truly appreciate the opportunity to not only showcase their work for their peers, but also recognize the value in allowing their work to be edited and hopefully improved through the input of the whole group (Student Coming-of-Age Sample). I always remind students before a mini writer's workshop session how valuable participation in it is, to the whole group, but especially to the students who are willing to share their work.
We will follow the same procedure as in the first workshop, only this time I will allow up to four volunteers, because of the enthusiasm for participation and high level of engagement that I witnessed in the first workshop.
When the last writing sample is workshopped, we return to The House On Mango Street. Today we will be reading and discussing three vignettes as a whole group, without a specific activity attached.
I like to mix up the reading approaches to a longer text throughout the weeks that we devote to it--while I do design tasks for most of the reading assignments, I will occasionally devote whole-class reading time to simply reading and discussion, allowing students to relax, read, listen, and discuss. In this way, it gives my students an opportunity to apply the reading strategies we have been focusing on, such as inference-making, in a low-stakes environment, hopefully reinforcing how such strategies are gateways to deeper and more meaningful understanding of a text. I have found that many of my students enjoy an occasional day of "just reading," as it tends to produce a "reading for pleasure" environment (Just relax and read . . .).
I explain to my students that the three vignettes for today continue the thread of Esperanza's coming-of-age that they tapped into through their Socratic Seminar. The vignettes are "The First Job," "Papa Who Wakes Up Tired In The Dark," and "Born Bad."
In "The First Job," my students will surely want to focus on the final scene, where Esperanza is kissed by the old man at work. I will ask them to consider the scene alongside the scene from "The Family of Little Feet," where the "bum man" asks Rachel for a kiss. I ask my students what they think Sandra Cisneros wants us to notice, what she trying to tell us, especially in terms of Esperanza's coming of age, by including these two scenes.
In "Papa Who Wakes Up Tired In The Dark," my students will most likely react to the new responsibility given to Esperanza, as she assumes an adult-like role when seeing her father cry for the first time.
Finally, in "Born Bad," I will ask my students to comment on why Esperanza feels shame about her Aunt Lupe and how this fits in with her developing "morality" (vocabulary word!).
Reading and discussing these vignettes should take us to the end of the period. I have not assigned any homework for this lesson.