Metaphors in Esperanza Rising: “Las Almendras” | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G5:M1:U2:L2

Metaphors in Esperanza Rising: “Las Almendras”

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.5.1: Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RL.5.5: Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.
  • RI.5.1: Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • L.5.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  • L.5.4a: Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • L.5.4b: Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., photograph, photosynthesis).
  • L.5.4c: Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.
  • L.5.5: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • L.5.5a: Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can describe how pages 121-138 of Esperanza Rising contribute to the overall structure of the story. (RL.5.1, RL.5.5)
  • I can interpret metaphors in "Las Almendras." (RL.5.1, L.5.5a)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Connections between Esperanza Rising and articles of the UDHR on sticky notes
  • Metaphor Questions: "Las Almendras" (RL.5.1, L.5.5a)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening 

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Engaging the Reader: "Las Almendras" of Esperanza Rising (20 minutes)

3. Work Time

A. Making Connections between the UDHR and "Las Almendras" (10 minutes)

B. Interpreting Metaphors in "Las Almendras" (20 minutes)

4. Closing and Assessment

A. Whole Group Share (5 minutes)

5. Homework

A. Complete Esperanza Rising: Questions about "Las Almendras" in your Unit 2 Homework.

B. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt and respond in the front of your independent reading journal.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students read the next chapter of Esperanza Rising, "Las Almendras," and analyze how the chapter fits into the overall structure of the text (RL.5.1, RL.5.5). They then make connections between this chapter and the UDHR, looking for evidence of threats to human rights (RI.5.1).
  • Students then analyze metaphors in the chapter and answer questions about what they mean (RL.5.1, L.5.5a).
  • Although the lesson is written for "Las Almendras" to be a teacher read-aloud, this can be organized in different ways to meet the needs of your students. For example, students could read this in pairs or triads, taking turns to read, with a teacher-led smaller group of students who need additional support. 
  • Many of the articles of the UDHR could be applied to each chapter. Students may make other suggestions than those recorded on the How Were the Human Rights of the Characters in Esperanza Rising Threatened? anchor chart (example, for teacher reference). 
  • In this lesson, the habit of character focus is on working to become an ethical person. The characteristic that students practice is respect as volunteers share out personal reflections on what happened in Esperanza Rising.
  • Students practice their fluency in this lesson by following along and reading silently in their heads as the teacher reads aloud "Las Almendras" of Esperanza Rising during Opening A.
  • The research reading that students complete for homework will help build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to human rights. By participating in this volume of reading over a span of time, students will develop a wide base of knowledge about the world and the words that help describe and make sense of it. 

How it builds on previous work:

  • In the previous unit, students read chapters of Esperanza Rising and made connections to the UDHR, just as they do this lesson with the next chapter, "Las Almendras."
  • Throughout Unit 1, students were introduced to various total participation techniques (for example, cold calling, equity sticks, etc.). When following the directive to "Use a total participation technique and invite responses from the group," use one of these techniques or another familiar technique to encourage all students to participate.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Students may need additional support with reading the text to answering the questions. Consider grouping students who will need additional support with this in one group to receive teacher support.

Assessment guidance:

  • Review students' answers to questions as they work to identify common issues. Use these common issues as teaching points in the whole group share-out.
  • Consider using the Reading: Foundational Skills Informal Assessment: Reading Fluency Checklist as students read Esperanza Rising in Opening B. See the Tools page.
  • Consider using the Reading: Foundational Skills Informal Assessment: Phonics and Word Recognition Checklist (Grade 5) as students read Esperanza Rising in Opening B. See the Tools page.

Down the road:

  • In the next lesson, students will read the next chapter in Esperanza Rising, "Las Ciruelas," and analyze character reactions to an event or situation.

In Advance

  • Strategically group students into triads, with at least one strong reader per triad.
  • Prepare the Metaphors in Esperanza Rising anchor chart (see supporting materials).
  • Review:
    • Metaphor Questions: "Las Almendras" to familiarize yourself with what students will be required to do in the lesson.
    • Red Light, Green Light protocol. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Post: Learning targets and applicable anchor charts.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time B: Students complete their note-catchers in a word-processing document--for example, a Google Doc--using Speech to Text facilities activated on devices, or using an app or software such as Dictation.io.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 5.I.B.6, 5.I.B.8, 5.1.C.12, 5.II.A.1, and 5.II.A.2

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by providing a safe space with time to reflect on the sensitive events in Esperanza Rising, and with opportunities to discuss how those events fit into the overall structure of the story, to make connections between the events and the simplified version of the UDHR, and to analyze the meaning of two metaphors.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to complete the questions on Metaphor Questions: "Las Almendras" during Work Time B. See "Levels of support," below, and the Meeting Students' Needs column for additional suggestions.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Invite a student to paraphrase the key points of pages 121-138 of Esperanza Rising in more comprehensible language for students who need heavier support.
  • Encourage students to add to the graphic organizer they began in Unit 1 to track (and illustrate) the main events in pages 121-138 of Esperanza Rising against the structure of the story. Invite them to explain this graphic organizer to students who need heavier support.
  • Invite students to read each other's answers to the metaphor questions and evaluate how well their partner has used evidence to support the interpretation. Encourage them to suggest stronger quotes where appropriate.

For heavier support:

  • During the reading of Esperanza Rising, stop often to check for comprehension. Dictate key sentences for students to recite so that they practice using verbal language. Encourage students to act out and sketch key sentences. 
  • Transform the investigation of the How Were the Human Rights of the Characters in Esperanza Rising Threatened? anchor chart into a kinesthetic activity. Copy the new cells of the anchor chart onto separate cards or sticky notes. Students can paste the cards into the correct location on the anchor chart.
  • To help students approach unfamiliar texts in this unit, invite students to choose strategies to practice. Notice that many of these strategies coincide with the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart introduced in Unit 1. Examples:
    • Chunk the text into manageable amounts, e.g., phrases, sentences, or paragraphs.
    • Read aloud.
    • Read repeatedly.
    • Silently paraphrase the chunks.
    • Summarize what you read for someone else, perhaps first in your home language.
    • Underline important people, places, and things.
    • Circle unfamiliar words.
    • Use context or a dictionary to define unfamiliar words.
    • Annotate unfamiliar words with synonyms or translation.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Because figurative language is very abstract, students will need concrete representations of metaphors, their purpose, and their uses. Consider representing metaphors through images of both their literal and figurative meaning side by side. Students can discuss the difference to further facilitate comprehension. 
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): For some students, it may be overwhelming to comprehend the entire text and make connections between the UDHR and "Las Almendras." Consider decreasing the complexity of the task by pre-highlighting key portions of the text for students to focus on. 
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): When introducing visuals for the metaphor exercise as described in MMR, insert humor as much as possible to help increase student engagement and memory.

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

  • metaphor, interpret (L)

Materials

  • Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 2)
  • Vocabulary logs (from Unit 1, Lesson 4; one per student)
  • Esperanza Rising (from Unit 1, Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Spanish/English Dictionary anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 2)
  • Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 2)
  • Experiences with Threats against Human Rights anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 2; added to during Opening B)
  • Structure of Esperanza Rising anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 2; added to during Opening B; see supporting materials)
  • Structure of Esperanza Rising anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Red, yellow, and green objects (one of each per student)
  • Simplified version of the UDHR (from Unit 1, Lesson 4; one per student)
  • How Were the Human Rights of the Characters in Esperanza Rising Threatened? anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 4; added to during Work Time A; see supporting materials)
  • How Were the Human Rights of the Characters in Esperanza Rising Threatened? anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Sticky notes (three per student)
  • Quoting Accurately from the Text handout (from Unit 1, Lesson 5; one per student and one to display)
  • Metaphor Questions: "Las Almendras" (one per student and one to display)
  • Metaphor Questions: "Las Almendras" (example, for teacher reference)
  • Metaphors in Esperanza Rising anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time B)
  • Metaphors in Esperanza Rising anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)

Assessment

Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Move students into triads and invite them to label themselves A, B, and C.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and select a volunteer to read them aloud: 

"I can describe how pages 121-138 of Esperanza Rising contribute to the overall structure of the story."

"I can interpret metaphors in 'Las Almendras.'"

  • Underline the word metaphor and invite triads to choose a vocabulary strategy on the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart to use to identify the meaning of the word. Then use a total participation technique to select a student to share the meaning of the word in their own words with the whole group. (figurative language--a word or phrase for one thing that is used to describe another to show the two things are similar)
  • Repeat this process for the word interpret. (to provide the meaning of)
  • Add both words to the Academic Word Wall and invite students to add translations in home languages. Invite students to add words to their vocabulary logs.
  • Tell students that in this lesson, they will be reading "Las Almendras," the next chapter of Esperanza Rising. They will analyze how the chapter fits into the overall structure of the story, make connections with the UDHR, and analyze metaphors.
  • For ELLS: To support comprehension of the second learning target, offer an example of a simple metaphor (The classroom was a zoo), then ask: "Why do you think we need to interpret--or figure out the meaning of--metaphors?" (Because metaphors mean something different from what they say. The classroom isn't really a zoo. It means the classroom was crazy or wild.)
  • Provide differentiated mentors by purposefully pre-selecting student partnerships. Consider meeting with students in advance to coach them to share their thought process with their partner. (MMAE)

B. Engaging the Reader: "Las Almendras" of Esperanza Rising (20 minutes)

  • Invite students to retrieve their copies of Esperanza Rising and to turn to page 121, "Las Almendras." 
  • Begin by pointing out the title of this chapter and select volunteers to share:

"What does 'Las Almendras' mean in English? How do you know?" (almonds; it says so underneath "Las Almendras")

  • Add Las Almendras to the Spanish/English Dictionary anchor chart.
  • Invite students to follow along, reading silently in their heads as you read aloud pages 121-138, adding words to the Spanish/English Dictionary anchor chart as they come up. Invite Spanish speakers to provide the translation and record the Spanish on the anchor chart.
  • After reading, invite students to reflect on the following question by thinking, writing, or drawing. Students must be silent when they do this, though:

"What did this part of the story make you think about?"

  • After 3 minutes, refocus whole group.
  • Focus students on the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart and remind them of the habit of character recorded: respect.
  • Invite volunteers to share out. Do not force anyone to share ideas with the group, but provide those who desire it the chance to voice their reflections.
  • As students share out, capture any threats against human rights that students share on the Experiences with Threats against Human Rights anchor chart.
  • Focus students on the Structure of Esperanza Rising anchor chart. Ask them to turn and talk to their triad, and cold call students to share out:

"What is the gist of this chapter?" (Miguel and Alfonso surprise Mama and Esperanza with the roses from Mexico, and they all go to a party where there is some trouble when Marta and her friends start talking about striking.)

"Looking at the key, where do you think this part of the story fits into the structure? Why?" (rising action; we can tell something might happen with the people who want to strike, but there still hasn't been a big turning point in the story yet)

  • Add this to the anchor chart. Refer to Structure of Esperanza Rising anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Invite students to share any new words, adding any unfamiliar words to their vocabulary logs. Add any new words to the academic word wall and domain-specific word wall, and invite students to add translations in native languages.
  • Tell students they are now going to use the Red Light, Green Light protocol to reflect on their learning.
  • Direct students' attention to the first learning target:

"I can describe how pages 121-138 of Esperanza Rising contribute to the overall structure of the story."

  • Distribute red, yellow, and green objects.
  • Tell students they are now going to use the Red Light, Green Light protocol to reflect on their progress toward the first learning target. Remind them that they used this protocol in Unit 1 and review as necessary. Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.
  • Guide students through the protocol using the first learning target.
  • Note students showing red or yellow objects so you can check in with them. 
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Before reading, invite students to turn to their triad and summarize the first seven chapters of Esperanza Rising in 30 seconds or less. Have them share out and give them feedback on their language use and summarizing skill. Then, after reading, invite them to turn to their partner and summarize once again, this time in 15 seconds or less. Repeat the feedback process. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Mini Language Dive: Ask students about the meaning of chunks from a key sentence of this chapter of Esperanza Rising. Write and display student responses next to the chunks. (MMR, MMAE) Example:
    • "Place your finger on the sentence: She snapped the edge of the shell and pried it apart, then pulled the meat from its defenses and ate it." Read the sentence aloud as students follow along.
    • "What is the gist of this sentence?" (Responses will vary.)
    • "Place your finger on She. Who is she? How you know?" (Esperanza; the sentence before this tells us it's Esperanza.) 
    • "Place your finger on snapped the edge of the shell.What is the translation of snapped in our home languages??" (bentak in Indonesian.)"What does snapped mean? You can use your dictionaries." (to break quickly with a loud sound)
    • "What does this chunk tell us?How do you know?" (Esperanza broke the almond shell, and it made a loud sound. We know because she is working with Isabel to shell almonds.)
    • "Place your finger on the chunk and pried it apart." Tell students that pried means pulled very hard. "What does this tell us about the shell?" (It was hard to pull apart.)
    • "Place your finger on the chunk pulled the meat from its defenses. What is the translation of defenses in our home languages?" (bentak in Indonesian.) "What does defenses mean? You can use your dictionaries." (something that protects)
    • "What does she pull from its defenses?" (the almond meat)
    • "Imagine the author instead wrote 'pulled the almond from its shell.' How would that change your understanding of the sentence?" (Defenses helps us think about the shell as protection for what is inside.)
    • Say: "The almond is a metaphor for Esperanza. Can you make any comparisons between Esperanza and the almond? I'll give you time to think and discuss with your partner." (Responses will vary, but may include: Esperanza was protected before Papa died. When she moved to the United States, her shell of protection was taken away and now she has to face some hard things.)
  • For ELLs: Ask:

"What are the series of conflicts and crises in this chapter leading toward climax? What do you think will happen next?" (Everyone goes to the fiesta; Marta shows up and compares them to kittens, saying they are small and weak and telling them to join the strike; Esperanza wonders what would happen if Mama did not have a job.)

  • For students who may feel uncomfortable sharing their progress on meeting the learning targets publicly: Minimize risk by providing them with a sheet of paper where they can select a color for each learning target in private. This provides useful data for future instruction and helps students monitor their own learning. (MME)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Making Connections between the UDHR and "Las Almendras" (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to retrieve their simplified version of the UDHR.
  • Post the following question and tell students they are going to have 5 minutes to work with their triad to look over the simplified UDHR text and "Las Almendras" in Esperanza Rising and answer this question:

"Which human rights have been threatened in "Las Almendras"?" 

  • Focus students on the How Were the Human Rights of the Characters in Esperanza Rising Threatened? anchor chart.
  • Tell students that when they find instances of this, they need to record the number of the article that it goes against on a sticky note and stick it in their book to remind them.
  • Distribute sticky notes.
  • After 5 minutes, refocus the whole group. Invite students' to retrieve their Quoting Accurately from the Text handout and quickly review it.
  • Cold call students to share out. Encourage students to provide you with accurate quotes from the text, and mark those quotes using quotation marks. As students share out, capture their responses on the anchor chart. Refer to How Were the Human Rights of the Characters in Esperanza Rising Threatened? anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading: Consider minimizing the complexity of the task by marking key sections of the chapter and asking students why these sections illustrate threats to human rights. (MMR)

B. Interpreting Metaphors in Las Almendras (20 minutes)

  • Focus students on the second learning target and reread it:

"I can interpret metaphors in 'Las Almendras.'"

  • Explain that authors use figurative language to paint a picture that allows them to show, not tell, their ideas. 
  • On the board, write a few examples of metaphors with which most of your students will be familiar. (Examples: "I am a rock." "The elephant in the room.")
  • Invite students to turn and talk to their triads and cold call students to share out:

"What do these metaphors mean?" (The person who is a rock is strong, solid, and reliable; and the elephant in the room is something big that people aren't talking about.) 

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"Why would an author use metaphors in writing?" (Figurative language paints a better picture in the reader's mind because the words are more descriptive.)

  • If productive, cue students to expand the conversation by saying more:

"Can you say more about that?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Tell students that the author of Esperanza Rising uses many metaphors throughout the book, and today they are going to focus on two in the "Las Almendras" chapter: the roses and the kittens metaphors.
  • Distribute and display Metaphor Questions: "Las Almendras."
  • Read the first question aloud for the whole group:
    • "In this chapter, Miguel has a surprise for Esperanza and Mama: Papa's roses. What does the author mean by the sentence on page 124: 'Now if they bloomed she could drink the memories of the roses that had known Papa'? Quote accurately from the text to support your answer."
  • Tell students that this is an example of a metaphor. Record this metaphor on the Metaphors in Esperanza Rising anchor chart. Refer to Metaphors in Esperanza Rising anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Invite students to: 

1. Find this sentence in the book.

2. Independently consider what it means.

3. Discuss with their triad.

4. Record an answer on their question sheet.

  • Remind students of the Quoting Accurately from the Text handout, as necessary.
  • After 5 minutes, refocus whole group and ask the second question:
    • "On page 132, Marta holds up a kitten and says, 'This is what we are.' How are they like the kittens? How does Marta suggest they fight behaving 'like kittens'? Quote accurately from the text to support your answer."
  • Tell students that this is another example of a metaphor, as of course the people aren't literally kittens. Record this metaphor on the Metaphors in Esperanza Rising anchor chart. Refer again to Metaphors in Esperanza Rising anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Invite students to repeat the process above for the second question.
  • For ELLs: Consider writing or sketching the meaning next to each metaphor example for written reinforcement. 
  • For ELLs: Invite students to share examples of metaphors and their meanings in their home languages. If students are not familiar with any, encourage them to ask their families. List examples and meanings on chart paper and invite students to add to the list throughout the unit.
  • For ELLs: Consider providing students with relevant quotes from the chapter to support their responses on Metaphor Questions: "Las Almendras." Alternatively, consider working with a small group of students who need heavier support to answer the questions as a shared or interactive writing experience.
  • To activate students' prior knowledge, review figurative language by providing examples of metaphors with corresponding images that have the figurative and literal meaning. Have students verbally explain the meaning of the metaphor. (MMR, MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Whole Group Share (5 minutes)

  • Refocus whole group.
  • Briefly go through each question with the whole group and cold call students to share out. Clarify any misconceptions. Refer to Metaphor Questions: "Las Almendras" (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Tell students that they will continue to explore metaphors in Esperanza Rising throughout the rest of this unit.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

 "How did the strategies on the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart help you to better understand the text?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Tell students they are now going to use the Red Light, Green Light protocol to reflect on their progress toward the second learning target. Remind them that they used this protocol earlier in the lesson and review as necessary. Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.
  • Guide students through the protocol using the second learning target.
  • Note students showing red or yellow objects so you can check in with them.
  • Repeat, inviting students to self-assess against how well they showed respect in this lesson.
  • For ELLs: Invite students to give specific examples of how they work toward achieving the learning targets in this lesson. 
  • For students who may feel uncomfortable sharing their progress on meeting the learning targets publicly: Minimize risk by providing them with a sheet of paper where they can select a color for each learning target in private. This provides useful data for future instruction and helps students monitor their own learning. (MME)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Complete Esperanza Rising: Questions about "Las Almendras" in your Unit 2 Homework.

B. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt and respond in the front of your independent reading journal.

  • For ELLs: For heavier support, consider providing students with key quotes from the chapter to use when completing Esperanza Rising: Questions about "Las Almendras."
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading and writing: Refer to the suggested homework support in Lesson 1. (For all homework assignments in this unit, read the prompts aloud. Students can discuss and respond to prompts orally, either with you, a partner, family member, or student from Grades 4 or 6, or record an audio response. If students have trouble writing sentences, they can begin by writing words. Consider providing a sentence starter or inviting students who need lighter support to provide sentence starters.) (MMAE, MMR)

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