Lesson Plan

Writing Opinions About Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a 17th century writer and philosopher who today is considered one of the first documented feminists and advocates for women’s education. In this lesson, students will read two nonfiction texts about Sor Juana and discuss her life and accomplishments before writing an opinion piece about her.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to integrate their knowledge from two texts on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to write an opinion piece about her.


(10 minutes)
Who Was Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz?Graphic Organizer Template: Bubble Map
  • Ask students to consider the word feminism. Tell them to turn to a partner and discuss their understanding of the word. Acknowledge their ideas and clarify any misunderstandings. Jot down some notes from the discussion on the board.
  • Explain that the meaning of the word has evolved, or changed over time, and can also have different meanings for different people. Tell students that for the purposes of this lesson, we will define the term feminism as the belief that women should have equal rights and opportunities as men.
  • Ask students to name any famous feminists they know of and describe what they think makes them a feminist. Add the names they mention to the board.
  • Tell students that today they will learn about one of the world's first known feminists, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Show students a picture of Sor Juana on the computer or tablet. (See materials for a sample image.)
  • Lead students in a visual thinking exercise by asking the following three questions, allowing time for students to discuss each one:
    • What's going on in this picture?
    • What makes you say that?
    • What else can we find?
  • Paraphrase students' observations, and point to the part of the picture as they talk about it. (Note: Students should notice Sor Juana's clothing, the books around her, her expression, and other details. At first, they should focus on describing what they see; eventually, the discussion may lead to inferences as they add their background knowledge to the image they are analyzing.)
  • Explain that Sor Juana was a self-taught 17th century writer, poet, scholar, and nun. Elaborate that they will first read two texts written about Sor Juana, then discuss the texts before writing an opinion piece about her.

Related Guided Lesson

Informational Text 3

3 online exercises
5 printable worksheets
fourth grade
Subject Reading & Writing