Fifth-graders learn the lessons of Esperanza Rising

Fifth grade is special for so many reasons. At Circleville Elementary School, Esperanza Rising is one of those reasons.

All fifth-grade students at CES read the Scholastic classic, Esperanza Rising. But they don’t just read it; they experience it!

A man with short hair leans over a desk to help a fifth-grader with crocheting.


Esperanza is a young girl living a life of privilege on her family’s ranch in Mexico. She enjoys all of the finer things in life with no hardships. However, she is entitled and spoiled. She doesn’t treat people the way she should with respect. Then tragedy strikes, her father dies. This changes everything for Esperanza and her mama. They lose everything including their ranch because women cannot own land. The two run away to California to work at a Mexican farm labor camp. This changes Esperanza. For the first time in her life she is working hard and facing financial struggles brought on by her circumstance and the Great Depression. Now she is not being accepted by people.

A girl wearing a white sweater holds up a doll made of purple yarn. she is smiling and holding up a peace sign.



Much happens in her journey to make her a better person. Her abuelita teaches Esperanza how to crochet. Esperanza’s mama teaches her how to make a doll from yarn. A quilt made by abuelita plays a big part in the story.


A group of six fifth-graders hold up little squares they colored.


The students spent part of a day doing some of the things that meant so much to Esperanza. They made dolls from yarn. They learned how to crochet, making headbands, hair ties, bracelets and hats. And they took a favorite part of the book and drew it on a piece of paper. When all drawings were complete, they created a large quilt, just like abuelita. They also had a delicious Mexican lunch!

A fifth-grade students sits at a desk with colored pencils and crayons. She colored a square that is red. She is wearing glasses and is smiling.


A fifth-grade girl with long grades. She has them pulled back into a large ponytail with pink and white crocheted hair ties. We are viewing from the side.


In the end, Esperanza grows as a person, maturing into someone who accepts people no matter their circumstances. Esperanza rises from the depths of her circumstances into a better human being.

A large group of fifth-graders stand together holding up their dolls that are made of yarn.

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Brian Dunn
Superintendent of Schools
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