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Esperanza Rising: Compare & Contrast Essay

School: PS 89

City/State: Bronx, New York, NY

Grade(s): 5

Subject(s): English Language Arts

Writing Assignment Description

In this unit, students continue to read Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan to make connections to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also compare and contrast characters' reactions to situations and events in which their human rights have been threatened and interpret metaphors woven throughout the story to determine how they convey themes. For the mid-unit assessment, students independently interpret a metaphor that is woven throughout the novel and determine a theme that it conveys. They also analyze and compare the reactions of two characters to an event in Esperanza Rising.

In the second half of the unit, students choose an event in the novel to write a literary essay that compares and contrasts the reactions of two characters. Students begin by writing a two-voice poem with a partner to really get inside the minds of the characters during that event. They then follow the Painted Essay structure, writing their literary essay one part at a time after analyzing a model. For the end of unit assessment, students revise their literary essay for linking words and phrases, specifically those that signal contrast.

From EL Education's ELA Curriculum G5:M1:U2

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