Lesson Plan Menu

Erin Carlson
Title: The House on Mango Street
Author: Sandra Cisneros
Subject: English
Grade level: 9th


Due to a limited number of books, we read this novel aloud in class, often in a reader’s theater format if there is a lot of dialogue. (I copy the sections and highlight "scripts" for students to read aloud. Sections which work particularly well in this format are indicated with an * ).

In teaching of this novel, my emphasis is placed on theme, symbol and style. For the purposes of organization, the novel is divided into eight thematic sections outlined below. Prior to reading each section, students complete a pre-reading assignment related to their own lives and/or society at large; these pre-readings provide a thematic framework from which to discuss the chapters in that section. They also serve as a vehicle to help students address the essential questions from different angles. Any one of the sections could be expanded or developed to really focus on a particular theme or issue, as you will see with the Geraldo No Name vignette.

A logistical note: I see my students for 100 minutes every day. Realizing how rare that is, I have tried to break up days based on a 50-55 minute block of time, but my sense of timing might be a bit off. I have included an approximate number of minutes to spend on each activity, but I know that varies greatly depending on each individual classroom. Please also know as you look through the activities below that I do not do every one of these assignments every year—two essays, a map project and a portfolio on top of daily assignments would undoubtedly overwhelm my students and distract them from the overall focus of the unit! Still, I have included them all here just to expand the pool of resources we are all so often seeking! J I generally spend 4-6 weeks on this unit though it could be shortened or expanded depending on the needs of your classroom. Depending on the project(s) I assign, I will often give the students a "writing week" at the end of the unit to complete the culminating project.

NOTE: This is a unit I have taught and found great success with over several years, but I did not develop the majority of it. Many of the handouts available here were created and passed on to me by the English Department at Castro Valley High School. The interpretive essay, power-point presentations and portfolio are my own additions.

Essential Question
Lesson Plan: Intro
Lesson Plan: Sec. 1 - 3
Lesson Plan: Sec. 4 - 6
Lesson Plan: Sec. 7 & 8
Content Standards
Samples Of Student Work
Teacher Commentary

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Urban Dreams
OUSD Curriculum Unit
The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros
Subject: English
Grade Level: 9th

Lesson Plan Author:
Erin Carlson
Organization: OUSD