On a warm, partially cloudy, and breezy day, Estrella and her extended family arrive at the barn. Peaches, oranges, avocado trees, biting sun, and two teenage boys who are picking fruits in the surrounding fields become Estrella's new reality. A little doll with whom she shares her thoughts, her frustrations, and her disappointments is still her best friend. Estrella, the protagonist of
Under the Feet of Jesus
by Helena Maria Viramontes, is a young teenager who is growing up and fights all the way to womanhood. She experiences rejections and prejudice for being the daughter of a migrant mother who cannot afford expensive clothes or health care when it is needed.
My unit goal is to enhance my students' skills to infer, close-read, analyze, discuss, synthesize, evaluate, and connect text-to-text. With this goal in mind, my students will read a variety of texts – one novel,
Under the feet of Jesus
, excerpts from
Johnny Got His Gun
by Dalton Trumbo,
Go Tell It On The Mountain
by James Baldwin, poems, lyrics, articles from
The New York Times
visual texts, and video clips. Students will research other sources connected to the unit themes, and will be engaged in a variety of writing: argumentative, explanatory, and narrative.
(Developed for AP English Literature, grades 11-12, and Sophomore English, grade 10; recommended for AP English Literature and Composition, grades 11-12, and Sophomore English, grade 10)