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Finding Home: The House on Mango Street

Lesson 6


Identify the features and structures of “The Family of Little Feet” that are similar to and different from a fairy tale, and how this impacts meaning.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros  pp. 39 – 55 — focus on “The Family of Little Feet"

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Target Task


Writing Prompt

Read the conversation between Rachel and the “bum man.” How is this scene similar to a fairy tale? How is it different? Support your answer with evidence from the text.

Mastery Response


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Key Questions


  • What are the features of a fairytale? What is the general structure of a fairytale? Come up with as many ideas as you can.

    Who are fairy tales for?

  • Read page 40 carefully. What elements does Cisneros include that remind the reader of a fairy tale? Provide at least two different examples from the text.
  • How do the girls’ feelings about the shoes change over the course of the vignette? Do the shoes retain their “magic” as the story progresses? Provide two pieces of evidence from the text.
  • Discussion: Some people believe that fairy tales give children an unrealistic idea of the world and should not be read. Why do you think people feel this way? Do you agree with this?

Lesson Guidance

Standard and Literary Concepts

  • Effective readers approach fictional, poetic, or dramatic texts understanding that every part of the text is meaningful and deliberate—nothing is accidental. In today’s class, students will think about how Cisneros uses many of the structural elements of a fairy tale in order to communicate a larger message—about gender, childhood, and how expectations and reality can be in conflict with one another.
  • All the pieces of a poem/story/play work together to communicate the writer’s message. By looking carefully at the way an author/playwright/poet structures his or her writing, the reader can more fully understand the meaning of the text.


  • Today’s topic is a delicate one, as it discusses sexual harassment and the sexualization of young women who are near the age of your students. Set students up for success and establish your classroom as a safe space.


  • Read The House on Mango Street, pages 56–64. As you read, take notes and think about how Esperanza’s perspective on her older family members is changing as she gets older.

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

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Coming Soon:
January 2021


Common Core Standards

  • RL.7.5 — Analyze how a drama's or poem's form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.