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Esperanza Rising Vocabulary

Page history last edited by andrew.bocchi@... 13 years, 1 month ago

Esperanza Rising: Vocabulary


"The limits of my language are the limits of my mind."

                           ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein ~



Knowledge of vocabulary makes it possible to derive meaning from words. By developing an understanding of the following vocabulary terms, students will not only be better positioned to comprehend the story of Esperanza Rising, but to comprehend the story of their lives.



Tier I: Basic Vocabulary

Striker Somebody who has joined others in ceasing work in protest against working conditions or to compel an employer to accept their demands.

"Esperanza had grown so accustomed to the strikers' chanting while she packed asparagus that the moment it stopped, she looked up from her work as if something way wrong" (pg. 204).

Migrant Somebody who moves from one place to another, often for employment or economic improvement. The story of Esperanza Rising takes place in large part at a migrant labor camp in California.
Immigration The act of moving to another country to live there permanently.
"The immigration official seemed angry for no reason" (pg. 82).
Great Depression A drastic decline in the world economy resulting in mass unemployment and widespread poverty that lasted from 1929 until 1939. "Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, and lack of acceptance she now faces" (back cover).
Man in charge of other workers.
"'You missed going to the foreman's office last night" (pg. 106).
Deportation To force a foreigner to leave a country. "Esperanza lay in bed that night and listened to the others in the front room talk about the sweeps and the deportations" (pg. 210).



Tier II: Essential To Content

A love song sung to a woman.
"Tomorrow was her birthday and she knew that she would be serenaded at sunrise" (pg. 9).
An advanced warning about a future event.
"She quickly wrapped her hand in the corner of her apron and dismissed the premonition" (pg. 9). 
Frail Physically weak. "Delicate and frail, with big brown eyes, long braids, and skinny legs, she looked like a young deer" (pg. 86). 
Menace A threatening quality, feeling, or tone. "When Esperanza saw their menacing faces, she wanted to run back to the safety of the camp, do laundry, clean diapers, anything but this" (pg. 200).
Torment To inflict torture, pain, or anguish on a person or animal.  "Esperanza felt her heart drop. A noise came from her mouth and slowly, her first breath of grief grew into a tormented cry" (pg. 22). 
Horizon Apparent junction of earth and sky. "There she found Mama searching the horizon, too" (pg. 10).
Anxiety Feeling of worry. "When she saw Hortensia's anxiety, Esperanza felt the heavy responsibility for his safety" (pg. 225). 
An expression of sorrow and sympathy, usually to somebody who is grieving over a death.
"In front of the adults, Esperanza modeled Mama's refined manners, accepting Marisol's condolences. But as soon as they could, the two girls excused themselves and went to Esperanza's room where they sat on her bed, held hands, and wept as one" (pg. 26).
Mythological bird; in ancient mythology, a bird resembling an eagle that lived for 500 years and then burned itself to death on a pyre from whose ashes another phoenix arose. It commonly appears in literature as a symbol of death and resurrection. 
"'We are like the phoenix,' said Abuelita. 'Rising again, with a new life ahead of us'" (pg. 50).
To move in waves or in a movement resembling waves.

"For hours, Esperanza watched the undulating land pass in front of her" (pg. 68).

To make somebody resistant to a disease, especially by vaccination.
"For those who live here most of their lives, they are naturally immunized" (pg. 156).

Anger because something seems unfair or unreasonable.


"Sometimes she felt as if she lived in a cocoon, protected from much of the indignation" (pg. 188). 



Tier III: Extended Vocabulary Words

A tool with a long handle and a long curved single-edged blade, used to cut grass, crops, or similar plants by swinging the blade horizontally close to the ground.
"The short blade was curved like a scythe, its fat wooden handle fitting snugly in her palm" (pg. 4). 
Tending to make sudden unexpected changes .
"But Esperanza loved her more for her capricious ways than for her propriety" (pg. 13). 
Repetitious and uninteresting. 
"The song of the locomotive was monotonous as they traveled north, and the hours seemed like Mama's never-ending ball of thread unwinding in front of them" (pg. 72). 
A tree or bush with leaves resembling scales. 
"She brooded as they rode past miles of young tamarisk trees that seemed to be the border of someone's property" (pg. 99). 
A faucet.
"There was a long pipe that lay on top of the ground and a line of water spigots sticking up from it" (pg. 193). 




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Comments (2)

Steffanie Bristow said

at 8:03 pm on Feb 26, 2011

Andrew - I like the layout of your vocab page - particularly the inclusion of the book context and flashcard links. The links worked as expected, the page holds a lot of visual appeal and is nicely categorized.

Did you mean to say "was wrong" in the text reference for Strikers? Were the definitions provided in your words or is there a source(s) that should be referenced? Will students be able to easily comprehend the definitions - for example will they know what a "foreign national" is? If not this may impede their ability to learn the designated key word.

Steffanie Bristow said

at 8:04 pm on Feb 26, 2011

Oh, one other thought...you may want to move the vocab activities link higher up on the page so if someone visits this page and fails to scroll all the way to the bottom they'll still see it...hopefully choosing to pursue your activities instead of heading out to another destination on the www.

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