Finding Home: The House on Mango Street

Lesson 13

Objective

Determine how Cisneros’s word choice develops tone and helps the reader better understand the characters in The House on Mango Street.

Readings and Materials

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Target Task

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Writing Prompt

What tone does Esperanza develop in the vignette “Beautiful and Cruel”? Support your answer with specific words and phrases and explain how these words develop this tone.

Key Questions

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  • What tone is developed when Esperanza talks about owning her own home in “Bums in the Attic”? Support your answer with specific words and phrases and explain how these words develop this tone.

  • What tone is developed in the vignette “A Smart Cookie”? Support your answer with specific words and phrases and explain how these words develop this tone.

  • What is Esperanza’s tone in the vignette “What Sally Said”? Support your answer with specific words and phrases and explain how these words develop this tone.

  • Discussion: What does the vignette “Bums in the Attic” suggest about Esperanza? How does this develop our understanding of what home means to her?

Lesson Guidance

Standard and Literary Concepts

  • Tone: An author’s/speaker’s attitude toward a topic or an audience, which is often conveyed through word choice and literary devices.
  • Tone is one of the most important tools an author uses to convey a character’s/speaker’s feelings. Careful study of the words chosen—and the connotation of those words—can help the reader better understand the speaker’s meaning.

Notes

  • You may wish to provide students with a bank of tone words to choose from.
  • Again, be mindful about sensitivity around topics in this chapter, including parents hitting/abusing their children.

Homework

  • Read The House on Mango Street, pages 99–108. A note to the teacher: Decide whether you want your students to read “Red Clowns” before assigning tonight’s homework.

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Common Core Standards

  • L.7.5 — Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  • RL.7.4 — Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.