Farewell to Manzanar




“Scene of barrack homes at Manzanar,” by Dorothea Lange (Public Domain)


Essay Writing Prompt: Farewell to Manzanar is a true memoir that describes one family’s experience in a Japanese American Internment Camp during WWII. What can we as readers learn from this story? In at least a five-paragraph essay, describe a theme (lesson, message) that this memoir reveals. Connect this theme to at least two other sources (article, film or poem) with a recurring message. Include textual evidence to back up your ideas.

Handouts and Writing Resources:

  1. Farewell to Manzanar Essay Criteria
  2. Farewell to Manzanar Tree Map or Persuasion Map
  3. MLA Typing Guidelines

Online Resources:

Student Success Essay


“Old School Classroom” – Mississippi Mike, Flickr

Essential Questions:

  • What is the key to student success?
  • How can we design a school culture for student motivation?
  • According to researchers, what is the best way for students to learn?
  • What are the benefits of students learning on their own?
  • What should be the role of the teacher in the classroom?

Resources Online:

Writing Process:

Always Running and “Code of the Streets” Essay

Always Running

Essay Writing Prompt:

Draw connections between Elijah Anderson’s “The Code of the Streets” and Luis Rodriguez’s Always Running. How is “The Code” a guide to the Rodriguez’s choices in East Los Angeles? What are the causes/effects and possible solutions for gang-affiliated youth in Los Angeles?

Cite both texts, using specific details in MLA Format. Include textual analysis.

Writing Process:

Parenting Essay


Essay Writing Prompt: How much freedom and supervision should parents give their children? Are parents today too overprotective? Or is “free range” parenting a kind of neglect? Explain why. Write an argumentative essay, backing it up with textual details from the articles: “Are Modern Kids Coddled?” (Newsweek) and “Kids Solo Playtime” (NPR). Also refer to our class text, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

Resources Online:

Writing Process: