Names/Nombres by Julia Alvarez is a personal narrative essay in which the author combines several personal experiences to drive home a central theme — that a person’s name is integral to one’s identity.
While we have curated a list of videos and other texts for you to use to teach this short story, we also recognize that you’re a busy teacher who sometimes just needs help designing a lesson that will resonate with your students as both readers and writers.
So, we have created a unit that focuses specifically on helping your students with the vocabulary present in Names/Nombres.
Much like grammar, vocabulary should not be taught in isolation, so we have designed a unit that will encourage your students to internalize the vocabulary in the story as both a reader and a writer.
Help students build writing confidence and stamina through daily practice
Increase student fluency with new vocabulary words
Assign relevant, real-world writing prompts
Daily Writing Prompts
You’ll receive three writing prompts that are relevant to the story and to the lives of your students. These prompts will help your students think about the story both in terms of its literary elements, but also its relevance to their lives.
You can download the prompts in one file along with the rest of the unit, or as a separate student handout. All files are digital, so you can upload the student handout to Google Classroom for easy student access.
The teacher’s guide includes instructions to help you prepare for class ahead of time, how to manage the quickwrites during class. I recommend that you write with your students, and I include a recommended process for guiding students through the writing process as they extend a quickwrite of their choice into a longer text.
While some teachers might advocate looking up definitions the old fashioned way, or even using Google, I am providing a handout with the definitions so students can move past this low-level learning activity to more creative ways of integrating their understanding of the words.
CCSS Aligned & Designed With Students In Mind
I have designed this unit with relevant writing activities based on my years of experience in the classroom and studies as part of my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards candidacy process, lessons developed as an Oklahoma Writing Project Teacher Consultant and student in the University of Oklahoma English Education master’s degree program.