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The Difficult Task I Face: Adulthood, by Marialuisa Sapienza


Guide Entry to 13.01.09:

On a warm, partially cloudy, and breezy day, Estrella and her extended family arrive at the barn. Peaches, oranges, avocado trees, biting sun, and two teenage boys who are picking fruits in the surrounding fields become Estrella's new reality. A little doll with whom she shares her thoughts, her frustrations, and her disappointments is still her best friend. Estrella, the protagonist of Under the Feet of Jesus by Helena Maria Viramontes, is a young teenager who is growing up and fights all the way to womanhood. She experiences rejections and prejudice for being the daughter of a migrant mother who cannot afford expensive clothes or health care when it is needed.

My unit goal is to enhance my students' skills to infer, close-read, analyze, discuss, synthesize, evaluate, and connect text-to-text. With this goal in mind, my students will read a variety of texts – one novel, Under the feet of Jesus, excerpts from Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo, Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin, poems, lyrics, articles from The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, visual texts, and video clips. Students will research other sources connected to the unit themes, and will be engaged in a variety of writing: argumentative, explanatory, and narrative.

(Recommended for English and Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition, grades 10-12)

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