This comprehensive "House on Mango Street" unit is designed to teach the vignettes in thematic sets, rather than the order in which they appear: Identity, Stereotypes of People and Place, Innocence, and Men vs. Women's Place in Society. The essential question throughout the unit is "What does it mean to belong?"
The unit begins with a small-group introductory research project to build schema on the different ethnic groups that immigrated to Chicago in and before the 1960s. To build schema about the author, students complete a research simulation task which requires reading two source documents, watching one video, answering evidence-based multiple choice questions, and writing a constructed response.
As for the novel itself, the unit includes bellwork questions, PowerPoint slides with visuals of pop-culture references, practice with figurative language, two closer reading tasks ("Four Skinny Trees" and "The Monkey Garden"), an Open-Mind activity ("Red Clowns"), and character profile charts. Also included are links to audio clips of Sandra Cisneros reading certain vignettes, the Steppenwolf Company performing selected scenes on stage, and videos related to other pop-culture references.
For formative assessment, students will complete a series of graphic organizers that tap into their reading comprehension skills of inferences and clues, author's purpose, common theme, motif, predictions, choices and consequences, shifts, symbolism, irony, and claims and evidence. There is also a Debate Team Carousel on identity, Think-Pair-Square activity on stereotyping, KAGAN consensus reflection task on Innocence, a Quote Carousel activity, Socratic Seminar, and a creative project. All of these tasks have grading rubrics and provide opportunity for student collaboration.
For summative assessment, there are four quizzes with evidence-based multiple choice questions. To practice writing skills and be better prepared for common core testing, students will complete two writing tasks. First is research simulation task on gender inequality in Latin culture. Included is a graphic organizer for students to practice skills like writing effective hooks, clear claims, topic sentences, and citing and explaining the significance of evidence to support the claim. Second is a narrative writing prose-constructed response in which students create their own vignette modeled after Cisneros's simplistic style. A revision checklist is included.