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

Length

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

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.5

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

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1

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.

Materials

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

Instructions

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.

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