Today I had my eighth graders focus on the idea of friendship–What is friendship? What does friendship mean to us? What defines a solid friendship?–I had my students write their ideas all over the white board in a silent-discussion format and then we talked through them.
This was a perfect intro activity for reading “Cathy Queen of Cats” and “Our Good Day,” which focus on friendship. We read each and discussed after, focusing on the idea of fake vs. real friendship. The students talked about Cathy, who they said was more ‘opinionated,’ ‘superficial,’ or ‘judgmental’ of the others who lived on Mango Street. Rachel and Lucy, on the other hand, (the two sisters that main character Esperanza meets in “Our Good Day”) were better friends. They shared the bike, didn’t set limitations on their friendship, and as Esperanza noted, they didn’t say anything about her name.
Here are the notes they added to the board (and my cool drawing of the girls on the bike!):
Since we’ve been focusing on figurative language, we also talked about/identified examples of personification, alliteration, metaphor, and simile. Students also compared and contrasted the friendships and talked about Esperanza and how she felt about her home and new friendships. Overall, this was a super productive day!