Our House on Mango Street: Curricular Unit

 
How to use this resource: This curricular unit is a tool for educators designed to be used in diverse education settings and across different subject areas.  It comprises a series of arts-integrated lessons that complements and responds to the exhibition The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community, drawing from both the visual works of art presented in exhibition and Sandra Cisneros’ celebrated coming-of-age novel The House on Mango Street (1984).
 
These art-centric lessons function much in the same way as Sandra Cisneros’ novel; you can consider them a collection of interrelated vignettes that can be explored sequentially but which have the capacity to stand independently. The lessons have been flexibly designed to accommodate the addition of content (subject area, vocabulary, additional readings, etc.) and scaffolding to appropriate student levels since they do not provide a traditional cover-to-cover exploration of the novel.
 
Special emphasis has been given to close-looking discussion strategies intended to foster visual literacy and critical thinking skills that transfer to other subject areas. Throughout the unit, students are encouraged to investigate the communicative power of written and visual texts in order to comprehend the value of integrating content from diverse media when researching and writing. 
 
Please see below for a link to the online intereactive PDFs in English and Spanish. 
About the exhibition: The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community
The National Museum of Mexican Art presents an exhibition inspired by the novel The House on Mango Street by the accomplished Mexican-American author Sandra Cisneros. The contemporary works of art on display are based on some of the central topics brought to light in this consciousness-raising novel. Narrated in a series of vignettes, the book tells the story of a young girl growing up in a diverse neighborhood of Chicago. The House on Mango Street, published in 1984, continues to resonate with readers from all walks of life and is read in classrooms everywhere – from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country. The exhibition, like the novel, highlights many of the issues facing adolescents growing up in urban areas. The visual artists in the exhibition explore experiences prevalent in working class neighborhoods across the U.S. The intended result is for individuals from diverse neighborhoods, cities, ethnic backgrounds and walks of life to identify commonalities in their coming of age experiences. The works of art feature some of the major themes of the book, including hope, personal dreams, hardship, disillusionment, family, community, home, identity, relationships, independence, coming of age, and storytelling. The NMMA is honored to have the participation of such a notable presence as Sandra Cisneros in this exhibition.