Themes are so important in House on Mango Street. From identity, home, and family to growing up, friendship, and culture, the book is filled with themes and it’s essential that students understand them. Thus I created a notes sheet and lesson designed to help students grasp the main ideas of each vignette.
Today’s activity started as an small-group reading and whole-group discussion of theme. This is definitely not the first time I’ve brought this up with my eighth graders. In fact, I’ve brought it up almost every lesson!
For today’s reading, students are searching for vignettes that fit their given theme. These are the ones I assigned and decided to focus on (I feel they are the strongest and most relevant for 8th grade).
- friendship/belonging/fitting in
- role of women
- growing up
Students had to fill out their notes sheet with examples and then present their findings to the class! This gave them more ownership of the notes, which was good. It also helped them to think more deeply about theme, which will help them with their final projects next week–creating their own vignettes.