Grappling with Identity in Latino Poetry
What is the experience of being a Latino living in the United
States today? Are their concerns and experiences different or similar
to that of other ethnic groups? Can the experience be categorized at all?
The PBS series AMERICAN FAMILY gives one perspective on this as it depicts
the life and times of a fictitious Mexican-American family. There has
been much else written on the subject as well. In this lesson, students
explore this complex issue by looking at the demographics of the United
States, and reading how this has made an impact on American media. After
becoming aware of some of the issues surrounding Latinos, students
read a collection of poems on the subject, written by Latino
writers. In the end students reflect on what theyve learned by creating
a multi-media collage.
One to two weeks
English, Social Studies
Students will be able to:
- Identify some common themes involving the Latino immigrant experience
as conveyed through a variety of media.
- Learn about issues of identity in some examples of poetry written
- Learn the demographics of the United States.
- Learn some basic poetry reading strategies.
- Express what they learned in a multi-media collage.
MCREL Reading Standard 6, #6
Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety
of literary texts. Understands how themes are used across literary works
and genres (e.g., universal themes in literature of different cultures,
such as death and rebirth, initiation, love and duty; major themes in
American literature; authors associated with major themes of specific
MCREL Reading Standard 6, #8
Understands relationships between literature and its historical period,
culture, and society (e.g., influence of historical context on form, style,
and point of view; influence of literature on political events; social
influences on author's description of characters, plot, and setting; how
writers represent and reveal their cultures and traditions).
.MCREL Reading Standard 6, #10
Relates personal response or interpretation of the text with that seemingly
intended by the author.
This lesson was prepared by Sharon Freedman.