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Teaching with Novels

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Resources

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Meet Sra. Wienhold

Teaching the novel Esperanza

This past year one of the first TPRS Publishing novels I taught was Esperanza by Carol Gaab. I started the year with the novel in Spanish III, their first time ever reading a book in class. I then taught the novel a second (and more successful time) with Spanish II, after they had started the year reading Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro. Teaching my first novel was a little rocky the first time, and I could not have done it with out the Teacher's Guide & Audio Book. I also found inspiration to get started from the ideas of Martina BexProfe HansonKristy Placido & Sharon Birch. Here are some more ideas on my immigration Pinterest board. More for myself than anyone else, I wanted to put together all of the resources I used in one place. 

**Update - See Teaching Esperanza Year 2 Here!


Before starting the novel



    • Student Slideshow - A few students from my school went on a mission trip with the International Samaritan organization in Guatemala in the summer of 2014. (I would have LOVED to go, but I had just had a baby). This Slideshow was made by Adrianna and I shared it with the classes reading the novel. It really gave the students a better picture of the current living conditions in Guatemala when shown pictures taken by a fellow student. 

    from Slideshow by Adrianna

    from Slideshow by Adrianna


    During the novel 

    While reading, I relied heavily on the amazing Teacher's Guide for chapter by chapter ideas, resources, and supplemental cultural activities, including the Immigrant Archive Project. I learned to really ask for feedback from the class to figure out the best way for them to read. I had one class who LOVED to have me read to them, a class who always chose to read on their own at their own pace, and another who loved reading along while listening to the Audio Book. Variety is key and you do not have to answer comprehension questions for every chapter.

    What I have found works best for me planning wise is to create one PowerPoint for a novel that includes chapter by chapter pre-reading questions, vocabulary, discussion questions, and class activities. This way I can post the discussion questions and depending on the class, they can talk about them in small groups, write out answers on their own, or converse as a class. This helps me to be much more organized instead of just planning  "teach chapter 3" and scrambling at the last minute to figure out what we are going to do. This PowerPoint is heavily based on the teachers guide, so I can not post it here. 

    After finishing the novel

    • Which Way Home - After finishing the novel, as a class we watched this great documentary about child immigrants from Central America. Check out this post about why I would recommend using the subtitles to get the most out of the movie. *Update* I recommend watching this movie before reading the novel**

    Next year I am also thinking about adding the movie La Misma Luna to our immigration unit as well. We may watch Which Way Home before starting the novel, so the students get some background knowledge. It would help if they have a better idea of why someone would risk their lives to come to the U.S.A. and what kind of life they are leaving behind. 

    43 comments

    1. Awesomeness! I'd love that info
      heavenspanish@gmail.com

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      1. I shared it with you. I hope you find it helpful!
        - Allison

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    2. cannot wait to use the novel in my classes this year! Here is my email: amanda.mora@rusd.org

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    3. I'd love this info! I watch both of these movies with my junior immersion class. I'm not familiar with book. What reading level would you say it is? jschaubmuniz@fhps.net

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      1. Jamie, I shared the document with you. Here is a link to the novel Esperanza https://tprstorytelling.com/products-page/featured-novels/esperanza. It is written in mostly present tense 1st person, and is labeled level 1, but could be used with any level. I have used it with Spanish II & III because of the deep discussions it brings up about immigration, poverty and Guatemala's long and bloody civil war.
        Let me know if you have more questions!
        Allison

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    4. Christine.wallace@redclay.k12.de.us

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      1. I shared it, please let me know if you need anything else!
        Allison

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    5. I would love to get more info! ppatel@uei-schools.org

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    6. I am enjoying all your info as this is my 2nd year teaching and first year teaching with novels. I would love more info please cgomora@ebethesda.org

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    7. This is great! I would love more information about your presentational writing assessment. ihampton@noblenetwork.org

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    8. Would love more info! Cvanhorn@hartfieldacademy.com

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    9. Hello, Allison,
      I just finished the semester 1 exam and used a lot of what we have learned so far about Guatemala and the study guide too. I would love to see the information about your presentational writing assessment. Thank you, in advance! :)
      mperalta@lwcs.org

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    10. I am excited about teaching Esperanza this semester! Love for more info please! ecox@heritagehall.com

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    11. Hello, I am coming to the end of this book study with my Spanish class. I would love to have your ideas on the presentational writing assessment.
      Thank you in advance. cvandersluis@gccsmi.org

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    12. I'm starting Esperanza in the next couple weeks (my first novel with a class and I'm very nervous and excited!) I'd love to see your presentational writing assessment as I'm trying to collect as many resources as possible to be successful! Your blog has been wonderful in so many different areas and I'm very appreciative of your creativity and willingness to share! Gracias
      anne.wuebker@mflmm.k12.ia.us

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    13. Working on Esperanza for this first time this semester and your blog and resources have been a life-saver! Would love to see the writing assessment. kelli.warren@centervillek12.org

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    14. I'm teaching Esperanza for the first time to level 1 and feeling overwhelmed with how to make the material (including TG questions) comprehensible without overwhelming them with translations. Anyone have any tips?

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      1. I would try and pre-load the vocab before the book or chapter(try mini stories, PQA, charades, vocab word sorts). This way while reading you can focus on contant not vocab. I have used a lot of Martina Bex's graphic organizers for this novel to help lower levels. Also, remember you don't have to use every question. Pick those that are most important and relate to students. I hope that helps!

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      2. Thanks so much! Mini stories should work, also they love charades. Very helpful info! I get stuck in the "all or nothing" sometimes but this is very helpful. :)

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    15. Hola Allison,

      You have great ideas. I would like to see your writing assements as well.

      Gracias!

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      1. Thank you Maria!
        What is your email so I can share the document with you?

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      2. Here is the writing assessment!
        https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assessment-Presentational-Writing-for-the-Novel-Esperanza-2861582

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    16. Hola Allison,
      This is my 1st year using Esperanza and your blog has been very helpful. I would love more information about your presentational writing assessment - nelsonm@spooner.k12.wi.us

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      1. I shared it with you!
        good luck!
        Allison

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    17. I taught Cajas de Carton for my Spanish 3 class, and I was looking for something easier to teach my immigration unit. This is perfect! Can you please share with me the writing assessment? Thanks!! hmas@kokomo.k12.in.us

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    18. I would love the writing assignment. Thank you. Colleen
      csummane@cdeducation.org

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    19. This looks amazing! I already do an immigration unit with La misma luna and it would be great to add to it! obradley@pinewood.edu

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    20. I'm jumping on board here too! Could you please send me the assessment for writing as well? Lmichalczuk@hotmail.com

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    21. I would also love a copy of the writing assignment. Thank you so much for sharing your materials! cahill.tracy@gmail.com

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    22. Thank you so much for sharing. I also have taught the novel twice. I added the Living on One Dollar a day, and now they want to try going a week on 900 calories, and they're researching international hunger relief projects to raise money. 3/4 of my students are on free and reduced lunch, some come to school hungry, but their hearts are touched and they want to help. Have your seen the new jarritos commercial about immigration? Excellent particularly in today's US climate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJuhpdtxzPg

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      1. That is a great idea & thank you for sharing the great commercial!
        Allison

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    23. Muchas gracias por compartir sus recursos. Es la primera vez que enseño con este libro con Español 2. Enseñé el otro año Vida y muerte en La Mara Salvatrucha y La Hija del Sastre con mis clases de Español 3. ¿Qué les da al final para escribir? erikcj99@gmail.com

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      1. Here is the final writing
        https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assessment-Presentational-Writing-for-the-Novel-Esperanza-2861582

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