The House on Mango Street Unit Plan
Welcome to our comprehensive unit plan for "The House on Mango Street." This highly acclaimed novel by Sandra Cisneros explores the coming-of-age experiences of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. Our unit plan aims to engage students in meaningful discussions, critical analysis, and creative activities that will deepen their understanding of the text and its themes. This unit plan is designed for high school English classes and can be adapted to meet the needs of different learners.
In this unit, students will:
- Develop a deep understanding of the characters, themes, and literary elements in "The House on Mango Street"
- Engage in close reading and analysis of key passages from the novel
- Explore the historical, social, and cultural context of the novel
- Participate in group discussions and collaborative activities
- Write analytical essays and creative responses to the text
Before diving into the novel, it's important to provide students with some background knowledge and context. Here are a few pre-reading activities:
1. Activating Prior Knowledge
Engage students in a class discussion about their own experiences growing up and the challenges they faced. Encourage them to share personal stories and reflect on how these experiences shape their identities.
2. Introduction to the Author
Introduce Sandra Cisneros as the author of "The House on Mango Street." Provide students with some biographical information about Cisneros and discuss her contributions to literature, especially in representing the experiences of Latina women.
3. Exploring the Setting
Show students images of Chicago's neighborhoods, including the real Mango Street. Discuss the significance of the setting and how it shapes the characters' experiences and the themes of the novel.
During Reading Activities
As students read the novel, it's important to engage them in activities that promote active reading and comprehension. Here are some ideas:
1. Character Analysis
Assign each student a character from the novel and have them create a character profile. Students should analyze the character's traits, motivations, and relationships with other characters. They can present their findings to the class.
2. Literary Elements
Identify key literary elements in the novel, such as symbolism, imagery, and foreshadowing. Select specific passages where these elements are used and ask students to analyze their effects and significance.
3. Journal Entries
Ask students to keep a journal as they read, recording their thoughts, questions, and connections to the text. Encourage them to use evidence from the novel to support their reflections.
After finishing the novel, it's important to provide students with opportunities to reflect on the text and further explore its themes. Here are a few post-reading activities:
1. Group Discussions
Organize small group discussions where students can share their interpretations of the novel. Encourage them to support their ideas with evidence from the text and engage in respectful dialogue with their peers.
2. Analytical Essays
Assign students an essay prompt that requires them to analyze a theme or a character in the novel. Encourage them to use textual evidence and incorporate literary analysis techniques they learned throughout the unit.
3. Creative Projects
Allow students to showcase their understanding of the novel through creative projects. They could create a visual representation of Mango Street, write a poem inspired by the text, or even adapt a scene into a short play.
To assess students' understanding of the novel, you can use a combination of formative and summative assessments. Here are a few ideas:
1. Reading Quizzes
Throughout the unit, administer short quizzes to check students' comprehension of the reading assignments. These quizzes can include multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and identification of literary devices.
2. Group Presentations
Assign groups of students different topics related to the novel, such as the symbolism of the house or the effects of poverty on the characters. Have them research and create presentations to share with the class.
3. Final Exam
Conclude the unit with a comprehensive final exam that assesses students' knowledge of the novel's plot, characters, themes, and literary elements. This exam can include a mix of multiple-choice questions and essay prompts.
"The House on Mango Street" is a powerful novel that explores important themes of identity, belonging, and the challenges of growing up. By implementing this comprehensive unit plan, you can guide your students towards a deep understanding of the text and encourage them to make meaningful connections to their own lives. Remember to be flexible and adapt the activities to meet the needs of your students, and most importantly, foster an environment that values open dialogue and critical thinking.