Activity 1 - THE GREAT DEPRESSION - Esperanza lands in the United States during the Great Depression of 1930's. Conditions were bleak all over the country, but worse in some places, like Oklahoma. Research the Great Depression, paying special attention to the plight of people from Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. What made circumstances so difficult for them? Why were they so eager to work for nothing? Prepare your report, and include illustrations or pictures of Depression-era families and homes. Your report will be displayed so other students may use it as a resource.
Activity 2 - Music Fiesta Time - There is music and dancing at the company camp fiestas, and Esperanza is always serenaded on the morning of her birthday. What kind of music might be heard in the pages of the novel? Prepare music by Mexican or Mexican American artists that would be appropriate for a family party. If you can find music appropriate for a 1930's community, even better! Present a brief report on the musicians and the music's historical background, then play your music for the class.
Activity 3- Washtub Grotto- Miguel and Alfonso plant Papa's rosebuds around a "washtub grotto" they made with a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The grotto becomes a place of prayer and reflection for the entire camp. Research and prepare a report on Our Lady of Guadalupe, her place in Mexican culture, and her position in the Catholic Church. Who is she? What does she represent? Re-create the washtub grotto along with a drawing or picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Give an oral presentation of your written report and display your recreation of the grotto and picture/illustration of Our Lady of Guadalupe.