This curriculum unit includes tested and proven materials for teaching The House on Mango Street to junior high/middle school and high school students. We have developed it to offer teachers an introduction to the work of Sandra Cisneros, a modern Chicana author whose work also includes poems and short stories. One writer calls The House on Mango Street a “haunting classic abut coming of age under the fetters of class, gender and racial enmity” (from “The Loving Latina Lyricist” by Margaria Fichtner in the Miami Herald, March 31, 1992; in NEWSBANK LIT 26:D2).
The House on Mango Street is an easy novel to read, and you can assign it in one of several ways. Some teachers give it as homework to be finished by a specific date; others have students read it by chapters; still others read it out loud. All of these approaches work. You will notice that the sample time line suggests a three week unit. This is the format we often use with the novel, but we have done it in a variety of other sequences. We hope that these materials will make the teacher’s job easier and student learning more productive.
We have noticed what we think is a misprint in the Vintage edition, and we have corrected it wherever we included it. It appears on page 110, where Esperanza says, “For the ones I left behind. For the ones who cannot out.” Several articles have supplied the word “get” that we believe was meant to be included, so the line in our packet now reads, “For the ones who cannot [get] out.”
We like to end on one final comment: this unit is very flexible. We offer approaches based on first-hand experience, but we know that there are many other combinations that will work as well. We believe that all teachers adapt ideas to fit their own teaching styles, and this format, like those in all of our curriculum packets, is easily and successfully modified.