OUSD > Urban Dreams > Language Arts > Extended Literature > Grade 11 > Rodriguez


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Hunger Of Memory is the story of a Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum.
Here is the poignant journey is a "minority student" who pays the cost of his social assimilation and academic success with a painful alienation -- from his past, his parents, his culture -- and so describes the high price of "making it" in middle class America. More... (© Hall Biography; )

Websites about Hunger of Memory:

Curriculum Resources:

  • Sample Essays on Rodriguez and Bonnin by Linda Tate
    From Dr. Tate's American Ethic Literature class. Compare/contrast experience with assimilation by Richard Rodriguez and Gertrude Bonnin. Good discussion topic as well. (Internet School Media Library)

  • Discuss the influence of Hispanic Americans
    Lesson Plan. What is the definition of the term "Hispanic"? Use this article and lesson plan to have students identify organizations that support Hispanic Americans, and to determine legislative successes of the Hispanic rights movement. Challenge students to formulate opinions on how organizations play a role in passing legislation to benefit Hispanic Americans.
    http://fyi.cnn.com/2001/fyi/lesson.plans/10/03/what.is.hispanic/ (CNN; )

  • Grappling with Identity in Latino Poetry
    Lesson Plan. In this lesson, students explore this complex issue by looking at the demographics of the United States, and reading how this has made an impact on American media. After becoming aware of some of the issues surrounding Latinos, students read a collection of poems on the subject, written by Latino writers. In the end students reflect on what they’ve learned by creating a multi-media collage.
    http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/lessons/poetry/ (Thirteen; )

Author Biography:

When Richard Rodriguez entered first grade at Sacred Heart School in Sacramento, California, his English vocabulary consisted of barely fifty words. All his classmates were white. He kept quiet, listening to the sounds of middle-class American speech, feeling alone. After school he would return to Spanish, to the pleasing, soothing sounds of his family language.
When his English showed few signs of improvement, the nuns at school called upon Rodriguez's parents to speak more English at home. Eager to help their son, his mother and father complied. "Ahora, speak to us en ingles," they would say. Their effort to bring him into the linguistic mainstream had far-reaching consequences. Rodriguez went on to earn degrees in English at Stanford and philosophy at Columbia. He then pursued a doctorate in English Renaissance literature at Berkeley and spent a year in London on a Fulbright scholarship. More...

Websites about Richard Rodriguez:

The Urban Dreams Project
"A U.S. Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grant"

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