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Finding Home: The House on Mango Street

Lesson 18 - Literary Analysis Writing


Draft a strong thesis statement and gather evidence to support that thesis.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros 

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Target Task


Writing Prompt

The House on Mango Street is part of our year-long study of what it means to be American. How would Esperanza define the American Dream? Write an essay in which you answer this question by providing multiple examples and pieces of textual evidence to support your thesis.

Your essay must be at least four paragraphs and should:

  • Include a clear, logical, original thesis statement
  • Include a strong introductory and conclusion paragraph
  • Include multiple pieces of textual evidence
  • Include strong analysis
  • Establish and maintain a formal style

Lesson Guidance

  • Unpack the prompt.
  • Brainstorm what the American Dream means. Ask students to discuss what the American Dream has meant to the characters and people in the previous units. In what ways is Esperanza’s dream similar to those dreams? In what ways is it different?
  • Ask students to draft a rough thesis statement—just the first things that come to mind. This will guide their evidence search.
  • Students should independently gather evidence to support their rough thesis, marking down incidents and specific quotes from the text.
  • Have students revisit their thesis statements and revise/improve them based on the evidence they have collected.


  • Begin to draft body paragraphs.

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

  • W.7.1 — Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

  • W.7.1.a — Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

  • W.7.1.b — Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.