Boys vs. Girls

I wanted to do something fun with my eighth graders today–a discussion/debate between girls and guys that related to House on Mango Street. 

We had just finished reading “Boys and Girls,” a short vignette where the narrator, Esperanza, talks about the difference between her and her sister vs. the boys in her family.

I wanted the students to understand Esperanza’s culture and her age a little better. I also wanted them to get a preview of one of the major themes in the story–the role of women–which we would come back to later.

To engage my students, I created a short set of discussion questions to have them debate. Then I broke the class into boys vs. girls.


These questions were meant to create a debate between the students–to get them to see female vs. male perspectives and start to understand Esperanza’s age and mindset. We also talked about siblings, younger vs. older, and how we act or treat one another depending on age, sex, or maturity level. This was an awesome (and easy!) activity to start connecting the book to their own lives!

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