This lesson introduces students to the genre of memoir through close readings of two popular narratives: THE COLOR OF WATER, by James McBride (Riverhead Books, 1996), and WHEN I WAS PUERTO RICAN, by Esmeralda Santiago (Vintage Books, 1993). Students engage in a series of reading and writing activities which familiarize them with narrative structure, character development, and the similarities and differences between memoir and fiction.
THE COLOR OF WATER, by James McBride (Riverhead Books, 1996); WHEN I WAS PUERTO RICAN, by Esmeralda Santiago (Vintage Books, 1993); THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X, by Alex Haley and Malcolm X (Chelsea House, 1999); the film MALCOLM X, directed by Spike Lee (available at most video stores); newsprint; and markers.
- Practice writing a two-part coordinate structure
- Develop an understanding of the genre of memoir
- Learn about story structure and practice identifying causes and effects
- Identify elements of the text that contribute to the creation of character
- Practice comprehension-monitoring strategies