The House on Mango Street: Home/Identity

Lesson Plan: The House on Mango Street

Grade Level: Sophomore English

Teacher: Marisa Donnelly

Topic: Home / Home Identity

Time: 45 minutes

house on mango street

Materials/Equipment: A copy of The House on Mango Street for each student as well as a copy for the teacher. Notebook, pencil/pen for each student. Chalkboard/dry erase board and chalk or markers. A sheet of computer paper for each student, colored markers for the class.

Content Standards: Key Ideas & Details

Benchmark: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. (RL.9-10.2)

Critical Objectives: Students Will: Understand how this theme of ‘home’ does not have to be defined by a specific place or idea. Understand how this theme of ‘home’ continues through the novel and relates to other pieces of literature.

Instructional Sequence:   

1). Introduction: Hook: For an opening activity, the teacher will give each student a blank piece of computer paper and some markers. The students will be asked to reflect on the first vignette in The House on Mango Street, “The House on Mango Street” and draw a picture of what ‘home’ means to them personally (5-8 minutes). Then the students will give a short presentation of what they drew.

2). Modeling/Demonstration: The teacher will lead a classroom discussion on the differences of people’s homes—whether it is one place, a home town, a new house, a feeling, a family, a group of friends, etc. The class can discuss how Esperanza feels about her home and why. Talk about the idea of moving.

3). Activity: Students will move into small-groups and relate The House on Mango Street to the novel Because of Winn-Dixie, which students have previously read for this class. For independent practice, students will be asked to write a 3-4 paragraph reflection on these questions:

  • How does the main character India Opal Buloni in Because of Winn-Dixie feel about moving to Naomi? Does she consider this place her home? What other settings in the book make Opal feel like she’s at home?
  • How does Esperanza feel about her house? How does she describe it in the first four vignettes? Is she proud of where she lives? Why or why not? How does her opinion on her house change? How is the theme of ‘home identity’ continued throughout the novel?

4). Closure: Discuss how home can be something that changes based on family, friends, moving, etc. Have the students complete their reflections, type, and submit them to the online classroom discussion board. They will have to post at least a three-paragraph response. They will also have to respond, in at least one paragraph, on another’s post. This is due before the next class meeting.

5). Evaluation: The reflections will be evaluated on their critical analysis of the first four vignettes in The House on Mango Street and how the idea of ‘home’ is connected and related to Because of Winn-Dixie.

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