Because Esperanza Rising is a lengthy book of over 250 pages, it will take an extensive amount of time to complete this unit. Still, there are many important events and discussion opportunities inside the story that should not be overlooked. This plan approximates that the unit will take about thirty days, about forty-five minutes to an hour, each period. This is ideal to use during a shared reading or guided reading unit.
This unit will involve many family-related activities and discussions, along with a culminating project that requires making a book about your family's journey. This unit also requires students to delve deep into the emotions of the characters and themselves, to have a better understanding of what it is like to be in someone else's situation. This book can tie in nicely with many social development strands and topics.
Since migration to the United States has frequently involved considerable hardship, you should keep in mind that this unit may bring to the surface many sensitive issues and situations that parents and children in your class may have suffered through. I recommend notifying all parents of this unit before implementing it in the classroom. In notifying them, it should be mentioned that students will be asked to share their family history with his or her classmates. (If a student is uncomfortable sharing the journey with the class, you may still encourage him or her to share the journey with the teacher). You may also recommend that parents sit with their children and discuss some of the things that happened during their move from their native country to New Haven. If these precautions are used, the students and parents will be better prepared for some of the conversation that will occur throughout this unit.
Lesson Plan #1
· Students will discover and discuss the emotions that occur within the relocation of a family.
· Students will correctly use a graphic organizer (T-Chart) to organize the emotions felt during relocation.
· Students will work cooperatively to create a list of reasons why a family might decide to relocate.
· Chart paper / T-Chart
· T-Chart for the students (optional)
I plan to begin this unit with a brief conversation about immigration, and what it means to be an immigrant. I expect that in this conversation the moving of people from Puerto Rico to America will be brought up as well. Through these conversations, the students and I will complete a graphic organizer (T-Chart) that will list each emotion, and why it might occur. For example:
Emotion | Reason
Sadness | They are leaving all of their family and belongings behind.
Again, I believe that there will be some students in the room that will have experienced these emotions first hand, and some student will use only their imagination skills to discover these emotions. The previous night, for homework, the students will have had to discuss immigration and these emotions with their family. Although not all the students are immigrants, some of them may have moved from a different state, town or even neighborhood. The emotions of these moves should be discussed, and added to the graphic organizer as well. They are relevant to the discussion, because although maybe not as severe, they are still real, and applicable to families on the move.
Today's lesson is a wonderful opportunity for students to share their stories with their peers. I would use a think-pair-share, in which each student will be partnered with a peer. They will share their story with their peer. Each student is then required to share their partner's story with the class. Although a think-pair-share will encourage interaction between the students, and allow them to become more connected with each other, this sharing can be done in many other ways, even a whole class discussion.
After discussing the emotions that a family might feel during relocation, we will look at the chart, and decide why a family would want to move when there are many negative feelings that accompany the decision. The students will then work in groups to create a list of reasons why a family might relocate. These reasons will be discussed as a class, and can lead into a conversation on how a family might decide if relocating is the right decision for them.
Lesson Plan #2
· Students will find two locations on a map, and track the journey from one to the other
· Students will compare journeys, and discover differences and similarities between them.
· Map of the world (Display Size)
· Map of the world (Student Copy)
· 4 different color strings
In today's lesson, we will track the journeys of all the students in the class. We will track only from the place the students were born, to New Haven, where they currently reside. For homework the previous night, the students will have had to ask parents or grandparents about their journey to New Haven. It will be necessary to know at least the general area, if not the exact town or city. (If the majority of students were born in New Haven, this activity can be done tracking other family members such as grandparents, parents, or as far back as necessary to track the person who made the original journey to New Haven). Students will be given one of four colors of string depending on the type of journey they made. For example, if the students moved to New Haven from another country, they may receive blue string, from another state, red string, from another town, yellow string, and within New Haven, green string. As a class, we will put the strings on the display map, and label the string with the students' initials. The students will also put their journey on the copy of their map, and keep this in a folder for future use. We will later return to these maps to add the journey of Esperanza and Mama.
This class map will be able to show how many hard decisions were made within the families just in our classroom. Whichever family member made the original move to New Haven, had to use all the positive and negative consequences discussed yesterday to make their decision. For homework this evening, the students will discuss with their family members why they decided to move, and what it was like. This will be a great way to enter into the reading in the state of mind to understand what it was like to have to move, as Esperanza and her family did.
Teaching the book Esperanza Rising by Pam Mu–oz Ryan
· Students will define important vocabulary words necessary for the comprehension of the text.
· Students will orally read a piece of text.
· Students will read with comprehension, to answer an open-ended question, using information from the text.
· Students will use inferring skills to discover information that is not directly stated in the text.
· Students will translate between English and Spanish text.
· Students will connect to characters through sympathy and or empathy.
· The book, Esperanza Rising by Pam Mu–oz Ryan
· Open-ended questions
· Vocabulary words
· Translation chart
For each chapter, there are open-ended questions, vocabulary words, and a list of all the Spanish phrases said in that particular chapter. The vocabulary words will be introduced and definitions written on the board before the reading. The students will take notes, writing the definitions for future reference. The same will be done with the phrases that are in Spanish. If there are fluent Spanish speakers in the class, allow them to translate these phrases for the students. Because of the Dual-language model, I have a great deal of fluent Spanish speakers. I plan to seat the students into groups so that those fluent Spanish speakers are divided evenly into the groups. They will in groups teach each other the translation of these phrases. The time allowed to do this should be somewhat limited, because you will still want to report back as a class, to be sure all translations are correct. Numbered heads together would work quite nicely for this task. I feel that this is an essential part of the unit, because it allows those students who are strong in Spanish, to share their expertise with the class, and teach their English-dominant peers.
As I am reading with the students, I will stop and discuss important events or quotations, and allow the students to ask questions and give their input when necessary. The open-ended questions should be read quickly before reading the text, so the students are aware of what they should be looking for while reading. I will do a Think-Aloud while reading, to show the students the thought process of picking important information out of a piece of text. I will also encourage them to share their thoughts and thought processes with the class as well. The conversation will be geared in a way that allows all students to understand the text, despite the fact that it may be above some of their reading levels.
For the reading of the text, we will do a choral read, in which all students will read aloud in unison for part of the text. Although this can be done in many ways, I prefer to ask students to read only the text in quotations, because it allows me to hear their reading, while allowing them a break during the reading of the chapter.
The following questions and vocabulary words are broken down by chapter. They may be used in whole, or part for the reading of the story. Also, many chapters are quite long, so only half of the chapter will be read in a period. Clearly, this may be adjusted to best fit your literacy block, or time allotted. The questions may be used in literacy centers, or whole class, depending on the level of the students in that class. Before sending the students to write open-ended responses, I will discuss the questions, and model what an acceptable answer might look like. (The CMT strand is written next to the question.)
Lesson # 3: Aguascalientes, Mexico Pages 1-3
Vocabulary words: Slope, Incline, Arbors, Resounding, Tendril
Translation from English to Spanish: Aguántate tantito y la fruta caeráen tu mano,
Open-ended Questions: (B3) Using information from the text, what can you tell about how Papa feels about the land that the family is living on?
Lesson # 4: Las Uvas Pages 4-12
Vocabulary: Scythe, Premonition, Capricious, Be courted, Reaping
Translation from English to Spanish: Cúidate los dedos, Campesinos, La cosecha, Campesinos, Fiest, Quincea–eras, Patronas, Vaqueros, Los Ma–anitas, Algun dia, Mi nieta
Open-ended Questions: (B3) Using information from the text, tell if you think that Esperanza had a good relationship with her parents. Why or why not?
Lesson # 5: Las Uvas Pages13-22
Vocabulary: Forlorn, Resurrected, Taunting, Dwindled
Translation from English to Spanish: No hay rosa sin espinas, El jefe, Compa–ero, Mi reina, Un burro
Open-ended Questions: (A2) Why can Esperanza and Miguel never get married? Use information from the text to support your answer.
Lesson #6: Las Papayas Pages 23-38
Vocabulary: Aguish, Condolences, Indignation, Pretentious, Cordial
Translation from English to Spanish: La sala, Qué pasó, La calabaza
Open-ended Questions: (A4) Everyone is warning Mama that T?o Luis can make their life very miserable. What do you think will happen to the family, and why? Use information from the text to help with your prediction.
Lesson #7: Los Higos Pages 39-50
Vocabulary: Smothering, Silhouetted, Salvage, Discreetly
Translation from English to Spanish: Un milagro, Mija
Open-ended Questions: (C1) If you were Mama, what would you decide to do? Why? Use information from the text to support why you would make that decision for the family.
Lesson # 8: Los Higos Pages 51-57
Vocabulary: Indebted, Plentiful, Smirk, Venom
Open-ended Questions: (A1) The title of this chapter is "Los Higos" or "Figs." If you were going to rename this chapter, what would you call it, and why?
Lesson # 9: Las Guayabas Pages 58-72
Vocabulary: Emerged, Reluctantly, Renegades, Mesmerized, Jostled
Translation from English to Spanish: Ratón, Rebozo, Lámparas, Gracias, De nada
Open-ended Questions: (C1) Think of a time you didn't want to do something, but you knew you had to. How is this like and different from how Esperanza's family is feeling in this chapter?
Lesson # 10: Las Guayabas Pages 73-80
Vocabulary: Monotonous, Hesitantly, Confiding
Translation from English to Spanish: Pepinos, Una palanca, Dulces, Carpetas, Buena suerte
Open-ended Questions: 1. (B3) What were Mama and Esperanza probably thinking when Carmen told them, "I am poor, but I am rich. I have my children, I have a garden with roses, and I have my faith and the memories of those who have gone before me. What more is there?" (on page 76). Why were they thinking this?
2.(B2) Why does the author introduce us to the woman, Carmen, on the train? Why is she important in this chapter?
Lesson # 11: Los Melones Pages 81-93
Vocabulary: Disembarked, Stagnant, Prodded, Hauling, Jalopy
Translation from English to Spanish: Arroyo
Open-ended Questions: (C1) Why did Esperanza think it was so strange that Isabel was excited about school? Use information from the text and your own life to support your answer.
Lesson # 12: Los Melones Pages 94-99
Vocabulary: Bulging, Hillock, Decent
Translation from English to Spanish: Entiendes
Open-ended Questions: 1.(B3) How is Esperanza feeling when Marta said those things about Papa, and the way she lived in Mexico? What in the text shows you this is how she is feeling? 2.(B1) How are Esperanza and Marta alike? How are the two girls different? Use information from the text to support your answer.
Lesson # 13: Las Cebollas Pages 100-113
Vocabulary: Loomed, Bestowed, Debris, Simmering
Translation from English to Spanish: De versa, café, chorizo, mi sobrina
Open-ended Questions: (C1) Esperanza is in a new place, and meeting new people. Think about a time you felt this way. How is the situation in your life like and different from the experience in Esperanza's life? Use information from the text to support your answer.
On this day, Esperanza arrives at her new "home." As a class, we will return back to the map created in lesson two, and track Esperanza's journey. The students will also put her journey on their map, where they have traced their own. It is then easy to see the distance that was traveled by Esperanza. About a week before this lesson, the students would have been given the assignment to research, through their families, the amount of time it took for them to arrive in New Haven. This lends nicely to a whole class discussion about the comparison of time and distance from Esperanza to the students. The experience of the travel should be discussed as well. A Venn Diagram will be created to compare Esperanza's emotions during her journey, to the emotions felt by the students, or their families during their journey. The Venn Diagram can then be used to formulate the answer to the question stated above.
Because this is the part in the text where Esperanza arrives in her new setting, I would also begin to show the students pictures of what the conditions were like on the farms. There are many resources at the end of this unit that are great visuals for the students. There are also resources which would allow students to read interviews and feelings from children who are working in the fields today. This would allow them to understand the emotion and hard work that goes into living a life such as this. This can be done as an entirely separate unit, possibly in a social studies block or literacy center.
Lesson # 14: Las Cebollas Pages 114-120
Vocabulary: Accosting, Propped, Vigorously, Ridicule
Translation from English to Spanish: La cenicienta
Open-ended Questions: (D1) Are the characters so far in the story believable? Why or why not? Use information from the text to support your answer.
Lesson # 15: Las Almendras Pages 121-138
Vocabulary: Shrine, Grotto, Trellis, Starched, Accustomed
Translation from English to Spanish: ¡ndale, Flan de almendra, Una tienda
Open-ended Questions: (A1) What lesson is Esperanza learning while she is spending time working and living in the camps with the rest of the workers? Use information from the text to show how she is learning this lesson.
Lesson #16: Las Ciruelas Pages 139-157:
Vocabulary: Whimpering, Wadded, Immunized, Preoccupied
Translation from English to Spanish: Rápido, Una tormenta de polve, Mi gata, Ma–ana
Open-ended Questions: 1. (B3) How did Esperanza feel when Isabel told her she did exactly the right thing to take care of the babies? What in the text showed you this is how she felt? 2.(A4) Predict what you think will happen to Mama in the next chapter. What in the story makes you think this is what will happen?
Lesson #17: Las Papas pages 158-167
Vocabulary: Nimble, Trance, Cope
Translation from English to Spanish: Claro
Open-ended Questions: (C1) Pretend you are Esperanza. What would you do to help Mama in this chapter? Why is this what you would do? Use information from your own experiences to support your answer
Lesson #18: Las Papas Pages 168-178
Vocabulary: Penetrating, Bereft, Cavernous, Repatriation, Lapel
Translation from English to Spanish: La migra, La navidad, Catedral, Atole de chocolate, Un cuento de hadas
Open-ended Questions: (A5) What does it mean when the author says, "Isabel had nothing, but she also had everything" on page 176. Give an example of how this might relate to your life.
Lesson # 19: Las Aguacates Pages 179-184
Vocabulary: Pruning, Taut, Suppleness, Regal, Susceptible
Open-ended Questions: 1. (D2) Pretend you are Esperanza, and write a paragraph in your journal after you have left Mama in the hospital. 2. (A3) Give a brief summary of this chapter.
Lesson # 20: Las Aguacates Pages 185-198
Vocabulary: Tormented, Squalor, Recuperation
Translation from English to Spanish: Que Buena suerte, Aquí, Machaca
Open-ended Questions: (B3) How do you know that Miguel is excited about his new job at the railroad? Use evidence from the story to support your text.
Lesson # 21: Los Espárragos Pages 199-213
Vocabulary: Menacing, Voluntary Deportation, Despondent, Desolate
Translation from English to Spanish: Huelga, Caldo de albóndigas
Open-ended Questions: 1. (C1) If you were Esperanza, what would you have done when Marta asked you for help? Use information from the text and your life to explain why you would do this. 2. (A2) If you could choose one word to describe Esperanza, what would it be, and why? Use information from the text to support your answer.
Lesson # 22: Los Duraznos Pages 214-224
Vocabulary: Alyssum, Devoutly, Unrelenting, Irrigation Pipes, Optimism
Translation from English to Spanish: Comal
Open-ended Questions: (A5) What does Miguel mean when he tells Esperanza, "And you still think you are still a Queen" on page 224. Use evidence from the text and your life to support your answer.
Lesson # 23: Los Duraznos Pages 225-233
Vocabulary: Primly, Cradled, Relapse, Antiseptic
Open-ended Questions: (A2) In this chapter, Mama told Esperanza that she is acting very mature. What in the story proves the Esperanza has changed from the girl she was in the beginning of the story? Use information from the text to support your answer.
Lesson # 24: Las Uvas pages 234-243
Vocabulary: Graciously, Deceiving, Mussed, Escorted
Translation from English to Spanish: Mira, Un fanstasma, Aquí estoy
Open-ended Questions: (A2) If you could choose one word to describe the reunion of Abuelita, Mama and Esperanza, what would it be, and why? Use information from the text to support your answer.
Lesson # 25: Las Uvas Pages 244-253
Vocabulary: Infuriated, Premonition, Amidst, Skeptically, Cacaphony
Open-ended Questions: (B2) Why did the author end the story when the men were singing outside of Esperanza's window? What did this show the reader? Use information from the text to support your answer.
Lesson # 26: The End of the Book Questions
1. (B2) Why did the author use both Spanish and English throughout the story? What did that help to show her readers? Use examples from the text to support your answer.
2. (D3) What did you learn about the Pam Mu–oz Ryan by reading this story? What details in the story told you this about the author?
3. (D2) If you wanted to show that Esperanza changed from the beginning of the story to the end, what event from the story would you choose to write about and why? Use details from the text to support your answer.