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My Family Interview

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Lesson: Inheritance: A Family Interview Project

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Writing

My Family Interview

A family interview reveals a mother's painful past and shines a light on her persistence.

Level

Grades 7–12

Type

Narrative

My mother’s words burden me.

My mother’s name is Maria Vasquez and this is her story. Once my mom told me to sit down and hear what she had to say, I knew in my mind at least part of her life had to be painful to hear. She told me that she found a job at the age of 8 in Ecuador, where she grew up in a two-story house she had to clean and cook 24/7. Her boss paid her well and let her sleep in a room. She saved up her money her whole life and she enjoyed her job making tamales, cooking, cleaning. It was hard work for her. But also she told me that she didn’t have a mother or father, but she had a sister. Her sister took care of her and she taught my mother how to clean but the sister died right before she found a job. This hurt her so much but was able to focus on work and she cried all the time.

My mother’s words burden me when my mother finished talking about how hard she worked when she was a kid. She talked about the people she lost. She lost her father and mother in an accident and they were the only family members my mom had during the time when she was a kid. Her sister taught her many things and also disciplined her and helped her in a way. But then her sister died unexpectedly and she was left alone with no father, no mother, not even a sister, but she pulled through it. Then when she was in her late 30s, she got married to a person I didn’t know. She loved him so much they even had a cat, a house, and everything but then everything changed. Her husband died in a car crash and she was alone again then she was forced to put the cat up for adoption because she couldn’t take care of it anymore. She lost her job and she felt hopeless so she crossed the U.S.A. border for a new life.

From this lesson

Grades 7–12
Narrative, Social-Emotional Learning

Inheritance: A Family Interview Project

by Cristeta Boarini, 826 MSP

Lesson Summary

Students will identify something they have inherited from their families, conduct interviews, and write a narrative essay. This lesson is especially well suited for English Language Learners.

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