Activity #1: Identity Journal
The identity journal is an ongoing interactive writing activity that allows students to make personal connections with the texts and the topics in the unit. It is intended to be the formal space for “text to self” connections, since students will generally be eager to connect this topic to their own personal identities and identity formation. It will be essential to honor these connections wherever possible, in order to help students build and defend their working definitions of identity continuously throughout the unit. Students will spend time decorating their journals using magazines to create a collage cover that illustrates their identity, the different things that make them who they are.
Activity #2: Anticipation Guide
Students will activate their prior knowledge and experience by thinking about the ideas they will be reading about. Students should be encouraged to make personal connections so that they can integrate new knowledge with their prior knowledge.
Activity #3: Double Entry Journal
Students will complete and submit a dialectical journal after reading each vignette. For each entry, students will pull one quote that reveals something about the characters, setting, plot, conflict, or theme. Being sure to follow the quotes with the page numbers on which they were found, the quotes must have a clear significance or importance to the novel. On the response side of the entry, students will write their thoughts, questions, or reactions to the quote. Then, they will reflect on the importance of what was written, the significance of the quote in terms of the plot development, or what the author might have been communicating to the reader. Students will be expected to react to what a character says, respond to an event, and share connections between the passage and perhaps another novel, historical or current event, or a personal experience.
Activity #4: Break-Out Mentor
After analyzing the symbolism in THOMS, students will identify a “break-out” mentor by researching a notable historical figure that has broken into a place they want to be in the future. Students will capture their mentor’s influence using a technological platform of their choice.
Student will identify community mentors that inspire personal growth and deepen their understanding of how accepting ownership for decisions affects relationships and nurtures personal growth. The goal is to have students research community mentors that have broken into a place they want to be in the future (ie., career, education, lifestyle, etc.). Students will capture their mentor’s influence in a presentation using a technological platform. Encourage students to research local newspaper articles and videos, interview family and other community members, or even try to contact the community member directly. To support the visual component, students will write a short reflection that answers the following guiding questions:
- Why do admire this community member?
- What experiences shaped their values and beliefs?
- How does family play a role in their success?
- How did failure promote change in their life?
- Who was included in your mentor’s support system? How did this impact their life?
- How does your research help you prepare for the future goals you want to accomplish?
Activity #5: Book Dedication
Students will dedicate a vignette to someone in their family. They will provide a detailed explanation of why they chose the vignette and the reason why they chose to dedicate the vignette to their family member.
Activities #6-10: These activities are designed to give students choice in the completion of their summative task. Students must complete one activity along with a reflective essay.
Activity #6: Scrapbook
Students will create a scrapbook that illustrates their family expectations and cultural traditions. For each visual, students must explain the impact it has on their personal identity.
Activity #7: Create a Vignette
After reading the ten carefully selected vignettes, students will write one of their own. They must pay careful attention to Sandra Cisneros’ writing style and the elements of a vignette. The purpose of this activity is for students to make connections to the STEM field. They will be tasked with writing the vignette as if Esperanza had a job in the STEM field, instead of being a writer. She would have access to more opportunities, a greater academic return, and increased income earning.
Activity #8: Vlog
Students choose a symbol that represents who they are. They must discuss the meaning behind the symbol and their personal connection in a vlog.
Activity #9: Vision Board
Students will display their twenty-year transformation on their vision board. Students will think about the guiding question: Twenty years from now, where do you see yourself? The purpose of your vision board is to bring everything on it to life. First, students will think about what their goals are in the following areas: relationships, career and finances, home, travel, personal growth (including spirituality, social life, education) and health. The vision board is the place to store anything that inspires and motivates them to achieve their greatest success in the next twenty years.
Activity #10: Reflective Essay
Students’ personal connections to the unit will be honored in a reflective essay. Students will use the notes collected in their identity journals to build and defend their final definition of identity. They will use the core novel and at least three supplemental texts to cite relevant evidence. Students will reflect on the following guiding questions in their essay, providing a thorough explanation for each:
- What have you inherited from your parents, close relatives, friends, and school? These things can be tangible or intangible.
- As you grow up, which family expectations will you continue to meet?
- As you grow up, which family expectations will you let go of? Why?
- As you grow up, which cultural traditions will you continue to honor?
- As you grow up, which cultural traditions will you let go of? Why?
- What expectations are more suitable for your current generation to follow?
- What expectations are not suitable for your current generation to follow?
- What advice do you have for the next generation?
- Google Chromebooks
- Google Classroom invitation codes
- Electronic folders for all digital resources
- Digital and print copies of pre-selected vignettes from The House on Mango Street
- Composition Notebooks
- Anchor Chart Paper