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Finding Home: The House on Mango Street

Lesson 1


Explain how Esperanza views her home and how living there impacts her identity.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros  pp. 3 – 9

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  • Essential Task Guide
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Target Task


Writing Prompt

How does the house on Mango street compare to the house the narrator imagines for her family? What can we infer about Esperanza based on her descriptions of the house she wants versus the house where they live? Support your answer with two pieces of evidence from the text.

Key Questions


  • What words does the narrator use to describe the house on Mango Street on pages 3–5? What words does the narrator use to describe her neighborhood? Provide at least four descriptive words or phrases for each.
  • How do Esperanza and her siblings’ interactions change based on whether they are inside or outside their house on pages 8–9? Support your answer with two pieces of evidence from the text.
  • Discussion: At the beginning of a book, authors work hard to introduce her readers to the main character. What have we learned about Esperanza from today’s reading? What more can we conclude about her and her life? Support your thoughts with specific evidence from the text.

Lesson Guidance

Standard and Literary Concepts

  • In text, as in the real world, individuals, events, and ideas are continually interacting. It is through identifying these— sometimes unexpected—connections between text features that the greatest insight is gained.
  • Effective readers notice the important interactions between narrative elements. This includes how the setting—when and where a story takes place—shapes the characters. This helps readers better understand why the characters feel, think, speak, and act the way they do.
  • You may wish to give a quick review of setting:
    • Features of setting: physical location (geography, neighborhood, house, etc.) time period, time of day, season, weather, social context.


  • Whenever students find evidence from the text to support their ideas, they should provide an explanation for how their evidence specifically supports their claim.
  • Make sure students take note of the passage where Esperanza talks about the “different worlds” boys and girls inhabit. This will set up further conversations about gender in the text.


  • Read The House on Mango Street, pages 10–16. Read and take notes on this section in preparation for tomorrow’s class. What more do you learn about Esperanza and her neighborhood?

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

Get recommendations on pacing and lesson structure, as well as suggestions for meeting the needs of a range of learners. Download Sample

Coming Soon:
January 2021


Common Core Standards

  • RL.7.3 — Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).