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.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • define self-discipline and words associated with it.
  • reflect on a writers' self-discipline - Sandra Cisneros.

Student copies of handouts: Sandra Cisneros and Self-Discipline Vocabulary


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Discuss the examples of self-discipline the students observed or experienced (from the homework assignment of the previous lesson) and add to the charts from Lesson Two, if appropriate.

  2. Distribute Handout One: Self-Discipline Vocabulary and ask the students to silently read it over, keeping in mind what they have just reviewed on the charts.

  3. Ask the students if they have any comments about the vocabulary list and definitions. Discuss or clarify, as needed.

  4. Teacher: Have you ever heard the phrase "writers discipline?" Many people associate self-discipline with athletes who use it to train for an event or sport, but all adults who have goals and ambitions need to learn and exercise the skills and attitudes of self-discipline described on the vocabulary list.

  5. Distribute Handout Two: Sandra Cisneros. Tell students that Sandra Cisneros is a writer who learned these skills and attitudes to shape her life the way she wanted it to go.

  6. Ask the students to form groups of two or three, read the information on Cisneros together, and complete the activity at the bottom of the handout.

  7. When the groups are finished, hold a whole-class discussion. Students share the words they associated with each quote, and why, and reflect on what they learned.

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

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to

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.