Identifying the theme of a story can be challenging. It requires students to distinguish main ideas and extend the idea to their own world. All items below are included in this Theme Study Unit for Esperanza Rising. My district encourages that children create most of the thinking pieces, however I have included templates. Photos of how I use these Theme Units in my classroom are on the last page. I hope that you and your students enjoy this beautiful story. This unit includes:
•Compare and Contrast Esperanza’s birthday in Mexico to her birthday a year later in California.
•Write a Letter to Abuelita from Esperanza urging her to come to California quickly because mama is very ill.
•Have students complete a Spanish/English Dictionary as you read.
•Have students complete a Character Report Card. Assign a grade to a particular character from the novel on each quality. Justify the grade in writing.
•Have students practice the Fluency Passage daily in pairs and with their parents.
•Have students create a poster with Las Fruitas/Fruit in the middle. Write the name for each fruit mentioned in the novel in Spanish and English and illustrate.
•Extend the Story. Have students write a continuation of the novel explaining where Miguel and Esperanza might be in 10 years.
•The novel mentions a beverage called Jicama. I purchased a few cans from my local Mexican Market and we all enjoyed a taste.