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Planned Lesson Activities

Activity Name The Meaning Behind My Name. Who am I?

Approx. Time 83 min.
Anticipatory Set
(20 min.)

Two truths and a lie
History of Ernest Hemingway and 6-word memoir challenge
Stories vs. Memoirs
o What is your context with stories? Why do we as humans tell stories? Why are
they important?
To relate to one another
To escape from the present nostalgia, imagination, dreaming
once upon a time Cinderella fell off a cliff.
o So then, whats the difference between a story and a memoir?
Story can be made up about anything
Memoir is true about someones life
o Better question, whats the difference between a memoir and an autobiography?
Autobiography is a historical account of someones entire life
Memoir is a very specific lens into a part of someones life that represents
the whole. A memoir is usually a memory of a significant event in
someones life, a snapshot of life. I think of pictures, and how a picture is
just one moment in time that represents a memory of something: a place
Ive been, people Ive spent my time with, etc.
GOOD DESCRIPTION still important show, dont tell
(40 min.)

Includes: Input, Modeling and Checking for Understanding
1. Input: Literary terms, definitions, and examples:
Extended metaphor: metaphor extended over a series of sentences of lines in a
Implied metaphor: word or phrase that describes on thing in terms of another; not
literally true
Simile: comparison using like or as
Sensory imagery: images that you can see, hear, taste, smell, or feel
2. Modeling: Read My Name by Cisneros and model how to find examples of these
literary elements (model finding at least 5 examples)
3. Checking for Understanding: Ask students to help me find examples as we are reading
as a class (gradual release); also have students read a paragraph on their own to find
examples (I circle the room to check for understanding with individual students).
4. Questioning Strategies: Comprehension: coding the text; identifying literary elements
within it; application: fill out protocol about their own name; synthesis: compose their
own 6-word memoir (not a story!)
5. Input: 6-Word Memoir examples
6. Modeling: Read the examples and determine possible meanings and reasoning behind
the memoirs
7. Checking for Understanding: Have students brainstorm in table groups about the
meaning of memoirs and pair-share out to the class
8. Questioning Strategies: Analysis: compare/contrast examples and debate meanings;
Synthesis: compose their own 6-word memoir (not a story!)
Gradual Release with My Name reading and My Name Protocol:
1. (I do, you watch) Model one column
(Guided Practice)
(40 min.
combined with

2. (You do, I help) Students answer one column for themselves
3. (I do, you watch) Model one column
4. (You do, I help) Students answer one column for themselves
5. (I do, you watch) Model one column
6. (You do, I help) Students answer one column for themselves
7. (You do, I watch) Students finish the protocol for their name on their own.
(20 min.)

Daily Journal Prompt: The daily journal prompt is time when students work on writing
stamina (a full 4 minutes of writing on either the prompt or a topic of choice). Sometimes the
journal prompts function as an anticipatory set for the lesson.
Daily Reading: The daily reading time is when students work on reading stamina (at least a full
6 minutes) and this time can be used to conference with individual students about their
reading and/or writing in class.
My Name Protocol: Students answer questions about their name on their own and students
practice writing a 6-word memoir on their own.
Closure Ticket out the Door: Why do you think that we would we talk about memoirs vs. stories in a
poetry unit?

My Name by Cisneros
My Name memoir planning handout
6 word memoir webpage from the website
6 word memoir examples page

To modify: Students who need modifications or accommodations only need to fill out 2
columns on their My Name Protocol
To extend: Students can research the history of their family name at home and bring in a
paragraph explaining family history around their name. This will ultimately help students
brainstorm their identity do they identify with the history of their family name, or are they
like Esperanza and want to separate themselves from that history.

This is a formative assessment in class to make sure that students can code a text for an
intended purpose and identify literary elements that make a narrative strong (and thus make
a poem strong). It also allows us to narrow down how important word choice is, since
students can only use 6 words to describe themselves. Their 6 word memoirs will only be
formative in the sense that it is their first poem and first example of accessing poetry easily.
Their poems will be assessed on completion, and the use of only 6 words.