These two poems by Pat Mora are seemingly simple and easy to read, but they also bring up bigger issues of language, power, relationships, immigration, and The American Dream.
They are great choices for students who are reluctant to read poetry, and they are great choices to add to a bigger discussions of themes of American Literature as they offer perspectives not often seen in other texts.
Because of copyright restrictions, both poems are not included in the handout.
These handouts of thorough and precise questions are ready to go with minimal prep on the part of the teacher.
Questions encourage close reading, analysis of poetic elements, as well as deeper thinking and discussion about the themes and big ideas of the poems.
There are also prompts for in-class writing as well as for longer assessment.
“La Migra” and “Elena” could be used with many texts that deal with similar themes. Suggestions include: The Fortunate Pilgrim, My Antonia, The Joy Luck Club, Bless Me Ultima, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby, Invisible Man, A Raisin in the Sun, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men.
Looking for more poetry lessons for your American Literature class? Check out my American Literature Poetry Bundle: Focus on Immigration and the American Dream
which includes enough material for three weeks of lessons, everything you need to teach your students how to analyze poetry, and then get them exploring, discussing, and writing about the bigger themes of American Literature such as materialism, love, race, family dynamics, class, immigration, language, tradition, the search for the self and the American dream.