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Finding Home: The House on Mango Street

Lesson 4


Explain how setting (including social expectations) shapes characters’ lives in The House on Mango Street.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros  pp. 26 – 38

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Target Task


Writing Prompt

How can environment shape a person’s feelings and behavior, according to Esperanza in the vignette “Those Who Don’t”? Provide two pieces of specific evidence from the text to support your answer.

Key Questions


  • How is Marin’s life shaped by cultural and gender expectations? Provide at least two pieces of evidence from pages 26­-27 to support your answer.

  • How is Alicia’s life shaped by gender expectations? Provide at least one piece of evidence from pages 31–32.
  • Discussion: Think about the chapter “People Who Don’t.” How do people who don’t live in your neighborhood or city view where you live? How do you feel when you go to other neighborhoods or communities?

Lesson Guidance

Standard and Literary Concepts

  • Remind students that setting includes both physical location and culture.


  • There continue to be more points of reference about the way gender functions in their community. Consider flagging these moments, as we will return to them later in the unit.


  • Read “Little Things Are Big” by Jesús Colón. Read and take notes. Think about how Colón’s experience is similar to and different from Esperanza’s feelings about those who view her neighborhood from the outside.

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).