The Desert is My Mother Lesson Plan

Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

This lesson plan, based around a text lesson, emphasizes metaphor, personification and imagery using reader's theater to embody the poem 'The Desert is My Mother.' It is appropriate for mid-level language arts classes, like reading, poetry or even ESL classes.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson plan, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate their understanding of The Desert is My Mother by Pat Mora as a metaphor that uses sensory imagery and personification as figurative language
  • provide examples of different senses the poem appeals to and the ways the desert is embodied as a human mother


1 hour for smaller classes, up to 1.5 hours for larger classes

Curriculum Standards


Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


  • A copy of the picture book The Desert is My Mother by Pat Mora
  • Colored construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers


Provide Background knowledge

  • Review definitions of figurative language devices, metaphor, imagery, and personification using The Desert is My Mother: Summary & Analysis as a guide or a supplement to classroom materials.
  • Lead a discussion with discussion questions such as:
    • Which lines appeal to the sense of taste, smell, sight, sound and touch?
    • What are some characteristics of a mother that the desert embodies?
  • Read The Desert is My Mother by Pat Mora to the class and answer any questions.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account