“Us & Them” Comic

Students need a break from the same-ole-same-ole. That’s why I wanted to create a comic activity to spice things up! My students were reading “Those Who Don’t,” one of the shortest vignettes in House on Mango Street. Instead of a discussion, I wanted them to think deeply about the theme in the vignette and create a comic representation of what was happening–my goal was to get them to think critically and create their own visual!

I created a comic template that I titled “Us and Them” to get students pointed in the right direction. The vignette “Those Who Don’t” is about a group of strangers who drive past Esperanza’s home and pass judgement, but Esperanza then realizes her people do the same thing–a lesson in culture, stereotypes, and judgement of others.

usandthemprevMy goal was to have the students pick a side, either ‘Mango Street residents’ or ‘visitors’ and draw a comic of their ‘side’–what they were thinking, feeling, saying–while passing through the town.


I wanted the students to think about what each side would be feeling, and get at the idea that we all judge, no matter our culture or skin color. We would share our comics with small groups, then talk about the theme afterwards!

The students seemed to enjoy this–something different!

*To download the template, click here: “Us and Them” Comic. This can be used as a classroom activity or an extension activity for students.

*To see other extension activities, click here: Figurative Language Competition & “Darius & the Clouds” Activity


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