Esperanza Rising relies on many instances of figurative language to capture Esperanza’s complex emotions and the vivid settings of the story. Storyboards can be a helpful way for students to explore these figurative meanings. Have students search for examples of metaphor, simile, personification, idiom, or hyperbole in the text. Next, ask them to depict each example and explain its meaning and significance below.
"Wait a little while and the fruit will fall into your hand."
This means that Esperanza must be patient; in time, good things will come. Eventually, she finds happiness (the “fruit”) when she, Mama, and Abuelita reunite.
"When Papa was alive, everything was in order, like the dolls lined up in a row."
Like her beautiful, expensive dolls, Esperanza's life was picture-perfect before Papa's death. Everything happened just as Esperanza expected it to.
"Our land is alive...this whole valley breathes and lives."
This means the characters have an emotional tie to the land. The land brings food and prosperity to the valley. It provides jobs for the laborers and wealth to the owners.
"There is no rose without thorns."
This means that there is no life without difficulties. Esperanza encounters many thorns the year she turns thirteen.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 5 (Advanced / Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
Type of Activity: Figurative LanguageCommon Core Standards
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a storyboard that shows three examples of figurative language in Esperanza Rising.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
Examples of Figurative Language
There are three examples of figurative language in the description boxes.
There are two correct examples of figurative language in the description boxes.
Only one of the examples of figurative language is correct.
Types of Figurative Language
All three examples are correctly identified as simile, metaphor, hyperbole, or personification (or other).
Two examples of figurative language are correctly identified as simile, metaphor, hyperbole, or personification (or other).
Only one example of figurative language is correctly identified as simile, metaphor, hyperbole, or personification (or other).
Illustrations show attention to the details of the story and demonstrate connection to the figurative language.
Illustrations demonstrate connection to the figurative language.
Illustrations do not make sense with the examples chosen.
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