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Your Name

Your name was chosen carefully for you, probably before your parents knew who you were.  The name, how you feel about it, and how others react to it, are probably important aspects of who you are.  In this writing piece, please explore your name and express yourself about it.  Some questions to consider are listed below:
  • What is your full name and how did your parent(s) choose it?  
  • How and why did they choose that name?
  • Does it have ancestral or cultural significance?  
  • Find the meaning(s) of your name, its language of origin, and perhaps some derivations.
  • How do you feel about your name?  
  • Does it match your personality or style?
  • If you have a nickname, what is it and how is it related to your name (if it is)?
  • If you could change your name, would you? If so, why and to what?
Timeline:
 Item or Activity Date it should be done by Deliverable or Evidence
Assignment overview, example, and prewriting Tuesday, August 22, 2017Write down diagrams, drawings, notes and/or other things that document a variety of ideas.  Maya, Chris
Get information from parents and add it to your prewriting page Tuesday, August 22, 2017Notes added to the pre-write that show info gained from a conversation with your parents (or others) about your name.
Examine your pre-write document and then decide on the organization/outline of your essay.  Write it down.Thursday, August 24, 2017 An outline (or other written thing that serves the same purpose) that shows the topics your essay will cover and how they will be organized. 
 Rough draftMonday, August 28, 2017 Using your outline as a structural guide, write a rough draft. Make sure that your paragraphs are strong and that the essay flows fairly well.
 Edited rough drafts (with peer)Wednesday, August 31, 2017 Work with a classmate to find spelling, grammar, and structural problems with your essay.  It helps if YOU read it TO them rather than just handing it to them -- the process should be a partnership.
 Edit rough draft (with adult)Labor Day weekend Same as above, but, since grammar and spelling errors should be gone, the adult-edits/suggestions should me about the flow of the essay, the voice, and making it most enjoyable and interesting to read (making it NOT sound like a QnA essay).
 Final copy and all of the above componentsTuesday, September 5, 2017 Final copy, adult-edited draft, peer-edited draft, organization/outline, pre-write.  In a folder, in reverse chronological order

Below is an excerpt from the book "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros:

In English my name means hope. In Spanish it means too many letters. It means sadness, it means waiting. It is like the number nine. A muddy color. It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing.

It was my great-grandmother's name and now it is mine. She was a horse woman too, born like me in the Chinese year of the horse--which is supposed to be bad luck if you're born female-but I think this is a Chinese lie because the Chinese, like the Mexicans, don't like their women strong.

My great-grandmother. I would've liked to have known her, a wild, horse of a woman, so wild she wouldn't marry. Until my great-grandfather threw a sack over her head and carried her off. Just like that, as if she were a fancy chandelier. That's the way he did it.

And the story goes she never forgave him. She looked out the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow. I wonder if she made the best with what she got or was she sorry because she couldn't be all the things she wanted to be. Esperanza. I have inherited her name, but I don't want to inherit her place by the window.

At school they say my name funny as if the syllables were made out of tin and hurt the roof of your mouth. But in Spanish my name is made out of a softer something, like silver, not quite as thick as sister's name Magdalena--which is uglier than mine. Magdalena who at least- -can come home and become Nenny. But I am always Esperanza. would like to baptize myself under a new name, a name more like the real me, the one nobody sees. Esperanza as Lisandra or Maritza or Zeze the X. Yes. Something like Zeze the X will do.


As an example, I've embedded below the response that was written by a 7th grade student at a nearby middle school.

Abbi's Name



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