Sandra Cisneros

6, 7, 8

Learners will associate a list of vocabulary words with self-discipline. They will use quotations from author Sandra Cisneros to infer concepts of self-discipline.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • define vocabulary words associated with self-discipline.
  • reflect on the self-discipline of author Sandra Cisneros.

Copies of handouts: Sandra Cisneros and Self-Discipline Vocabulary


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Discuss the examples of self-discipline observed from the homework assignment of the previous lesson and add to the charts from the previous lesson, if appropriate. Discuss some clues that someone else is exhibiting self-discipline. Discuss what types of behaviors help someone stay with a goal or task.

  2. Distribute the handout Self-Discipline Vocabulary and have participants silently read it over, keeping in mind where the words might fit on the charts. Discuss each of the words and meanings together, asking for personal examples or observations. 

  3. Just like it takes self-discipline to get homework done on time, writers need self-discipline to complete their writing and editing tasks and deadlines. Some writers share their routines and practices that build their self-discipline. Sandra Cisneros is a writer who learned these skills and attitudes to shape her life the way she wanted it to go. She wrote The House on Mango Street that describes the life of a girl growing up through some tough situations in Chicago.

    What are other jobs and situations that take self-discipline in the face of barriers? You may think of athletes, farmers, artists, or factory workers.

  4. Have the participants form groups of two or three to read and discuss the prompts in the handout Sandra Cisneros

  5. When the groups are finished, hold a whole-class discussion. Groups reflect on what they learned.

  6. Ask: How does Cisneros use of self-discipline help her? How does her self-discipline help the community?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Examine several examples of philanthropic traditions practiced in diverse cultures.
      2. Benchmark MS.7 Identify women and minorities who are or have been leaders in the civil society sector.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.10 Identify reasons why historic figures acted for the common good.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.