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Finding Home: The House on Mango Street

Lesson 5


Determine an author’s purpose and point of view in a short piece of memoir and explain how it is conveyed.

Readings and Materials

  • Article: “Little Things are Big” by Jesús Colón 

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Target Task


Writing Prompt

How does the author’s use of questions develop his point of view in this essay?

Key Questions


  • Summarize this short memoir in your own words.
  • Why do you think that Colón chose to write this piece? What was the author’s purpose in writing it?
  • For whom did Colón most likely write this memoir? Explain your thinking with evidence from the text.
  • Discussion: How does this short piece of memoir connect to the chapter we read yesterday, “Those Who Don’t”? Have you ever had an experience similar to Colón’s?

Lesson Guidance

Standard and Literary Concepts

  • Even in nonfiction texts, authors insert their opinion, point of view, or biases into their writing. It is important that readers always think about what an author is trying to communicate, how they are communicating it, and why they are communicating it.
    • Point of View/Perspective: The author’s view of a specific topic/idea/event (most often, the central topic of the text), or their view of the world more generally. Thoughtful readers also consider how a person’s life experiences, beliefs, and identity shape their point of view. A reader can often determine an author’s point of view by paying close attention to the words and phrases they use to describe events, individuals, and their own thoughts.
  • Determining an author’s purpose for writing a text is essential to understanding the meaning of the text overall. In earlier grades, students may rely on the most basic categories of writer’s purpose—inform, entertain, persuade—but as text becomes more nuanced, so too should a student’s determination of purpose.


  • Read The House on Mango Street, pages 39–55.Take notes on the ways that gender expectations play out in Esperanza’s life and community.

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

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Coming Soon:
January 2021


Common Core Standards

  • RI.7.6 — Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.