Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
Author: Pat Mora
Title of work: My Own True Name
Alfredo Lujan uses a reader-response approach to explore the poetry of Pat Mora. The students write and present their own poems in response to the works in Mora's collection My Own True Name. By arranging for students to share their poetry at a local café, Lujan honors their writing as a way to communicate with each other as well as with the larger community.
To prepare for the lesson, view The Expanding Canon video program 1, Part I. Online, review the Session 1 theory overview, strategies, information about the authors and literature, resources, and the downloadable print guide. Also read Pat Mora's My Own True Name -- selected poems available in the print guide.
Teachers will need the following supplies:
Standards for the English Language Arts
1. Alfredo Lujan begins the lesson by telling students that Pat Mora's book of poems, My Own True Name, is about identity. He asks students to reflect on this while they read poems in the collection silently.
2. Students state their names and a favorite line from one of the poems in My Own True Name. Lujan asks students to explain their choices briefly to the class.
3. Lujan asks students to name the poems on which they would like to focus. He writes the titles on the board, then divides the students into small groups and instructs the groups to select a poem from the list. He asks them to discuss what the poem means literally, what they interpret it to mean, and how it applies to their lives.
4. After working in small groups, the students share highlights of their conversations with the class.
5. Lujan asks the students to bring their copy of My Own True Name as he takes them outside to a nearby arroyo. Lujan asks them to look for an object -- something they can use as a focus for their writing -- and to respond to Mora's work by creating poems of their own.
6. Lujan introduces the students to Pat Mora. Pat Mora reads her work to the class, and then answers students' questions about her process. (Teachers may want to show students a clip featuring Pat Mora from The Expanding Canon video program 1, Part I.)
7. The students "publish" their work. They share their poems with their classmates, Lujan, Mora, family, and community members at a local café.