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Finding Home: The House on Mango Street

Lesson 8 - Narrative Writing


Establish a narrator’s point of view and introduce at least one additional character to a vignette.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros  — "My Name"

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Target Task


Writing Prompt

In The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros introduces many aspects of her narrator, Esperanza, through the vignette “My Name.” In this task, you will write your own “My Name” vignette, in which you describe the literal and figurative meaning of your name in order to provide your reader a better sense of who you are as a person.

Your vignette must be at least five paragraphs and should:

  • Establish a clear narrator’s voice
  • Include at least one additional character
  • Use precise words and phrases
  • Use descriptive details
  • Use vivid sensory language
  • Provide a strong conclusion

Lesson Guidance

  • Read paragraphs 2–4 of “My Name” aloud.
  • Ask: What do we learn about Esperanza’s great-grandmother from these paragraphs? What do we learn about Esperanza from these paragraphs?
  • Our work today will be to introduce a new character into your vignette and also to provide your reader with more information about who your narrator (you!) is. (see notes below)
  • Have students add two additional paragraphs in which they introduce another character. Show-call strong examples—especially those that include strong sensory details.


For students who are named after someone specific, today’s writing will likely feel more straightforward. For students who were not named after a specific person, consider the following options:

  • Write about a time when someone teased you about your name
  • Write about how your parents decided on what to name you
  • Write about a time when someone gave you a nickname
  • Write about a time when you met someone with the same name as you

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.7.3 — Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

  • W.7.3.a — Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.