Sandra Cisneros Was Born on This Day in 1954

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The Mexican American author Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1954. Best known for her collection of vignettes The House on Mango Street and her short story collection Woman Hollering Creek, Sandra Cisneros has been awarded MacArthur and NEA Fellowships for her fiction and poetry depicting life of Latinx people in America. Read more about additional awards won by Cisneros.

Sandra Cisneros in the Classroom, from the NCTE High School Literature Series, explores the joys of reading and teaching Cisneros’s stories and poems. These works resonate with the challenges and promises of living in a multicultural society and appeal to students of all backgrounds.

Using a passage from The House on Mango Street as a model, students investigate the meanings and origins of their names in order to establish their own personal histories and to explore the cultural significance of naming traditions in this lesson plan.

Tune into this session from the National Book Festival where she speaks about the importance of empathy, a writer’s need to have an open heart, and the many ways that difficult times have spurred her work and imagination.

Read aloud or share this quote from Sandra Cisneros:

The older I get, the more I’m conscious of ways very small things can make a change in the world. Tiny little things, but the world is made up of tiny matters, isn’t it?

Select a “tiny little thing” from your life—an encounter with a stranger, a small object, a physical feature of a loved one, a fragment of remembered dialogue—and freewrite about its significance to your life.

What is your “tiny little thing”?

Curious about the NCTE and Library of Congress connection? Through a grant announced recently by NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE is engaged in new ongoing work with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Stay tuned for more throughout the year!

It is the policy of NCTE in all publications, including the Literacy & NCTE blog, to provide a forum for the open discussion of ideas concerning the content and the teaching of English and the language arts. Publicity accorded to any particular point of view does not imply endorsement by the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, the staff, or the membership at large, except in announcements of policy, where such endorsement is clearly specified.

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