Unit 2: Introduction to Identity

El Mito

Mexican American Literature Unit Essential Questions:

1. What is IDENTITY and how is it shaped  by historical events?

2. How does IDENTITY shape perspetives of historical events and conflicts?

3.  In what ways does literature and art serve to help us understand PERSPECTIVES of historical events such as “the conquest” of the Americas?

4.  What has been the influence of literary accounts of Early American encounters between Europeans and Native Americans on current Mexican American IDENTITIES and CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES?

Unit Goal:

After investigating and analyzing perspectives of Early American encounters through texts which include Spanish account, Aztec poetry, 20th Century art and poetry, students will complete a portfolio which evaluates the impact of European arrival to the continent on Native populations and compares perspectives of encounters between native populations and Europeans.

Unit Terms:

imagery, figurative language, symbolism, genre, flower and song, oral narrative, myth, legend, journal, Conquest, Mesoamerica, Codex, Nahuatl, indigenous, Aztlan, Castillian


Topic 1: Historical Context

After completing CORNELL NOTES on video, “Exploring the Borderlands,” students will be able to write a summary that identifies significant historical contexts and themes of Mexican American Literature.

I. Pre-Reading: Cornell Notes Guide and Instructions.

II.  Reading: “Exploring the Borderlands”.

III. Discussion QuestionsAnalytical Summary

Topic 2: Neither Here Nor There Perspectives of Identity 

I.  PreReading: Identity Corners Activity, “Half Like Me” by Al Madrigal

II. Reading: Read “How I Became A Mexican” by Frank Mundo

III. Post-Reading: Write “How I Became…” Found Poems

Aztec Sun DialTopic 3:  About that Cactus on the Forehead

I.  Pre-Reading: Quote Quick Analysis

II.  Reading:

Short Story- What does the short story “Senior Picture Day” reveal about the narrator’s identity and her relationship to an “Indian” heritage? by Michelle Serros

Poetry: Making Sense of Poetry for Rosario Castellanos’ poem “Silence Concerning and Ancient Stone”

Art: David Botello Murals: “Read Between the Lines” & “Dream of Flight”

III.  Post-Reading: Analytical Summary, Reaction, Imagery Poem