Esperanza Rising
Age 10-12: Concept 4 - Systems and Interaction: Unit 1

Enjoy the story of a girl who is forced to migrate from Mexico to California when her family is faced with tragedy. America is not as she imagined, and she must learn to get by on her own hard work and hope. Through this unit, learn more about the Great Depression and the impact it had on families who struggled to survive. Gain a glimpse into the lives of migrant farm workers and the culturally rich Mexican-American community. Practice writing dialogue and using transition words effectively, learn some Spanish vocabulary, and participate in a readers' theater dramatic presentation. For the final project, design a set and a script for a movie trailer based on the book.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the sixth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Tragedy in Mexico (2 Days)
  • Lesson 2: Escape
  • Lesson 3: Train Ride
  • Lesson 4: Los Angeles
  • Lesson 5: Home Sweet Home
  • Lesson 6: Papa's Roses
  • Lesson 7: Dust Storm
  • Lesson 8: Christmas
  • Lesson 9: The Strike
  • Lesson 10: Together
  • Final Project: A Dramatization (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze problems and solutions in various contexts and situations. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze the function of stylistic elements (such as the magic helper, rule of three) in traditional and classical literature from various cultures. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze the similarities and differences between an original text and its dramatic adaptation. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the author's purpose in cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support understanding. (Language Arts)
  • Compose a variety of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using self-selected topics. (Language Arts)
  • Correctly write dialogue to develop a story. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate understanding in speaking and writing by using troublesome verbs. (Language Arts)
  • Determine both main and supporting ideas in the speaker's message. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss and analyze the effects of dialogue on a story. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss and analyze the effects on texts of such literary devices as figurative language and dialogue. (Language Arts)
  • Elaborate information and ideas in speaking and writing by using transitions. (Language Arts)
  • Examine reasons for a character's actions, taking into account the situation and basic motivation of the character. (Language Arts)
  • Explain and evaluate relationships that are hierarchical. (Language Arts)
  • Explain and evaluate relationships that are problem-solution. (Language Arts)
  • Explore the problem-solution process by studying examples (in literature and other text) that present problems coherently, describe the solution clearly, sequence reasons to support the solution, and show awareness of audience. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and analyze the characteristics of poetry and drama. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and correctly use transitions to connect ideas. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and correctly use verbs that are often misused. (Language Arts)
  • Integrate the main idea and supporting details from multiple sources to expand understanding of texts. (Language Arts)
  • Interact with the text before, during, and after reading, listening, and viewing by drawing on personal, literary, and cultural understandings and seeking additional information. (Language Arts)
  • Listen to and interpret a speaker's message. (Language Arts)
  • Make connections between works, self, and related topics/information. (Language Arts)
  • Offer persuasive evidence to validate the definition of the problem and the proposed solutions. (Language Arts)
  • Provide details and transitional expressions that link one paragraph to another in a clear line of thought. (Language Arts)
  • Read a variety of texts. (Language Arts)
  • Read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance the study of history and social science. (Language Arts)
  • Recognize and use proper punctuation and spacing for quotations. (Language Arts)
  • Recognize dialect and conversational voice and explain how authors use dialect to convey character. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. (Language Arts)
  • Study characteristics of informational works. (Language Arts)
  • Summarize the main ideas and supporting details in text. (Language Arts)
  • Theorize on the causes and effects of problems and establish connections between the defined problem and at least one solution. (Language Arts)
  • Understand, make inferences, and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of drama and provide evidence from text to support understanding. (Language Arts)
  • Use a range of narrative devices such as dialogue, suspense, movement, gestures, and expressions. (Language Arts)
  • Use a variety of sentence structures and transitions to link paragraphs. (Language Arts)
  • Use comprehension skills to listen attentively to others in formal and informal settings. (Language Arts)
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