Author & Text

Sandra Cisneros was born today in 1954.

December 20
Calendar Activity Type
Author & Text

Event Description

Winner of a 2016 National Medal of Arts, Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1954. Best known for her collection of vignettes The House on Mango Street and her short story collection Woman Hollering Creek, Cisneros has also been awarded MacArthur and NEA Fellowships for her fiction and poetry depicting life of Latino/as in America.

Classroom Activity

Read aloud or project this quote from Sandra Cisneros:

The older I get, the more I'm conscious of ways very small things can make a change in the world. Tiny little things, but the world is made up of tiny matters, isn't it?

Invite students to select a "tiny little thing" from their lives—an encounter with a stranger, a small object, a physical feature of a loved one, a fragment of remembered dialogue—and freewrite about its significance to their lives. Then read aloud a vignette such as "Hairs"/"Pelitos" (also available as a standalone picture book) and discuss how Cisneros takes something small and finds significance in it. Give students time to write, share, and revise to take up what they learned from hearing Cisneros' writing. Let students choose a form for their writing: narrative prose, poetry, or essay.


Cisneros' official website offers a personal glimpse into her life, work, and favorites.


Learn more about Cisneros' life at this site from


This press release announces Cisneros as a recipient of the 2016 National Medal of Arts and contains links to media associated with the awards ceremony.


In this NPR interview from 2009, Cisneros discusses the history and impact of The House on Mango Street, then in its 25th year.


In this official video interview from KnopfGrou, Sandra Cisneros talks about the story behind The House on Mango Street and its relationships with her own life.

Related Resources