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the expanding canon teaching multicultural literature
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Reader Response: Pat Mora and James Welch Reader Response: Keith Gilyard and Mourning Dove Inquiry: Rudolfo Anaya and James Baldwin Inquiry: Tomás Rivera and Esmeralda Santiago Cultural Studies: Ishmael Reed and Graciela Limón Cultural Studies: N. Scott Momaday and Russell Leong Critical Pedagogy: Octavia E. Butler and Ruthanne Lum McCunn Critical Pedagogy: Abiodun Oyewole and Lawson Fusao Inada
Theory Overview Lesson Plans Teaching Strategies Authors and Literary Works Resources
Session 5 Cultural Studies: Ishmael Reed and Graciela Limón - Lesson Plans
Introduction
Lesson Plan 1
Lesson Plan 2

 

REFLECTION - Interactive Forum

Explore two poems using four approaches.

ChannelTalk

Share your views on the discussion
board.




Download the Session 5 Guide


Author:
Graciela Limón
Title of work: Erased Faces
 

Overview
Bobbi Ciriza Houtchens uses a cultural studies approach to help students understand Graciela Limón's novel Erased Faces about the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico. To provide students with a window into the culture of Chiapas, she shares with them the bilingual picture book The Story of Colors /La Historia de los Colores, by Subcomandante Marcos. The focus is to enable students to understand how the texts are related. She also brings the author into the classroom, providing students with the opportunity to ask Limón questions that shed light on the meaning of her work.

Preparation
To prepare for the lesson, view The Expanding Canon video program 5, Part II. Online, review the Session 5 theory overview, strategies, information about the authors and literature, resources, and the downloadable print guide. Read Graciela Limón's novel Erased Faces and review the following excerpts for use in the classroom: pages 35-43, 54-62, 102-112. Read The Story of Colors/ La Historia de los Colores, by Subcomandante Marcos.

Materials
Teachers will need the following supplies:
  • Graciela Limón's novel Erased Faces
  • The Story of Colors/ La Historia de los Colores, by Subcomandante Marcos.
  • a screen or monitor on which to show a clip from the video program 5, Part II, either on a vhs tape or from the Web (optional)
Standards
Standards for the English Language Arts

Summary
In advance of the lesson, Bobbi Ciriza Houtchens asks students to read three chapters (pages 35-43, 54-62, 102-112) from Erased Faces. Houtchens asks the students to use a coding technique, marking passages that they find interesting, new information they've learned, and sections about which they have questions.

1. Houtchens begins the lesson by asking students questions about the reading, such as:
  • Where does the story take place?

2. Houtchens explains that she is going to read a folktale that will help students to explore the issues of Chiapas: The Story of Colors/ La Historia de los Colores. A student reads aloud in Spanish while Houtchens reads in English. After the reading, students discuss the benefits of hearing the story in both languages.

3. In small groups, the students discuss how they coded the excerpts from Erased Faces.

4. Houtchens then prompts students to explain the connection of the picture book to the chapters they read in Erased Faces.

5. Author Graciela Limón visits the classroom and discusses how and why she wrote Erased Faces. (At this point, teachers may show students a clip from The Expanding Canon video program 5, Part II, featuring Graciela Limón.) Students ask questions about the book, focusing on the oppression of women.

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