Stories of The brave
Living outside the windows, the Youth Speaks.
“She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn’t be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don’t want to inherit her place by the window.”
- The House on Mango Street
Often times, we come to know one another through the art of storytelling. Storytelling lends itself to a number of different mediums (art, dance, song, writing, etc.), and is deeply rooted in oral and written tradition in our history. Stories tell us about where we came from, who we are, and where we are going. Stories open up boundaries and let others into pieces of our world.
American history contains powerful stories from different eras and cultures. Slaves often told stories through the avenue of song. These songs helped them cope through difficult times and long days. Native Americans told stories through dance and through fables. Both of these mediums solidified their culture and continue to bring together their community in today’s world. American authors have told their stories through history by writing about their struggles, successes, and dreams. Your family also has stories that can be traced back through generations. Family stories do not just have to be traced back through history. I’m willing to bet that you have some great stories with your family that are rather recent that you may pass onto future generations someday.
As a class, we will be reading the novella The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. The story follows a year in the life of Esperanza, a 12 year old Mexican-American girl who is searching for her true identity and place in this world. At the start of the novella, Esperanza moves to a brand new house that is significantly different from any place she has lived before. The area that Esperanza has grown up in plays a dramatic role in how she views each and every situation she writes about. Esperanza longs to reach out of her current boundaries and discover information about the exciting and blossoming world around her.
Individually, each of you will be creating three themed vignettes based on stories from your life. These stories should be able to tell your audience about your hopes, dreams, past experiences, and present adventures. Each story will give insight into who you are and where you are going. We want to learn about you through the art of storytelling!
1. How do significant moments impact our relationships with ourselves and others?
2. Why do stories get passed down through families/generations?
3. How do stories play a role in our daily lives?
4. How are stories perceived based on how they are expressed (word of mouth, written, song, dance, art, etc.)?
Product - 30 points
Writing component - Vignettes: A short, graceful, detailed literary sketch
-3individual vignettes based on a prompt
-Descriptive language and sensory detail are extremely important.
-Be extremely conscious of word choice/aware of the power of the words you choose.
Blurb – Following the completion of the writing component, you will choose your favorite vignette (out of the 3) and submit it to create a class anthology. We will use Blurb, a publishing website, to create a book of our personal stories. (More details will be discussed in class)
Presentation - 20 points
Each of you will be presenting your products in the form of a campfire/bonfire sharing experience. Often times, stories are shared through an array of mediums. For this particular project, we will head to the beach to share our stories and experiences with one another around a campfire/bonfire. You will be sharing your writing component with the class, as well as working on an impromptu art piece for this presentation.