47 pages 1 hour read

Judith Ortiz Cofer

American History

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1993

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Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay.

Differentiation Suggestion: For English learners or struggling writers, strategies that work well include graphic organizers, sentence frames or starters, group work, or oral responses.

Scaffolded Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the below-bulleted outlines. Cite details from the text throughout your response that serve as examples and support.

1. Ortiz Cofer’s story explores the difference between Elena and her parents.

  • How do Elena's and her parents' views of Puerto Rico differ? (topic sentence)
  • Identify at least 2 instances in the story that juxtapose or contrast Elena’s and her parents’ feelings about Puerto Rico.
  • In your concluding sentence or paragraph, explain the differences between Elena and her parents in their view of Puerto Rico. Consider how this reveals the themes of Migration and Displacement, Changing Demographics of Northern Cities, or Racism and Ethnic Discrimination.

2. The green door to Eugene’s house serves an important role in the story.

  • What does the green door symbolize? (topic sentence)
  • Identify at least 2-3 passages in which the green door or the color green is prominent.