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Teaching El capibara con botas - Chapters 1-4

This year for the first time ever I am teaching a novel in the first quarter of Spanish 1. El capibara con botas by Mira Canion is the ultimate first reader, since it contains just 55 new vocabulary words and has a new teacher's guide. You can find all posts I have for the novel using the label Capibara and here are all posts about novels. Here is what we did before starting the novel, as well as for chapters 1-4. 

Teaching El capibara con botas - Chapters 1-4



Before starting the novel 

You can see much more in depth my plan before starting the novel in this post. Below are the highlights with links. 

Vocabulary preparation (high frequency verbs)

Culture and content preparation

Chapter by Chapter Ideas

Below is what we did moving through the novel. Please remember this is my first time teaching this book, so I have been learning as I go. 


Teaching El capibara con botas - Chapters 1-4

Chapter 1

Kindergarten Day
Since we started the novel during Homecoming week, I hyped up pajama day into Kindergarten style reading of the novel. Students brought in blankets and pillows and made a big nest while I read to them. We discussed projected questions as we went. 

We played Quizlet Live as an entertaining time filler at the end of a class. 
I keep links of already created kahoots, quizlet live & quizizz to use for instances like this. 

Students created their own capibara using this template. They wrote out in Spanish an introduction of their capibara. Students then shared these with multiple partners and we compared them to the main character Carlos all in Spanish. I usually do not do many craftitivties, but this was perfect for homecoming week and provided a lot of repetitions of "es" "es de" and "tiene." We also compared the parents of the fictional capibara and the one in the book. 

Chapter 2

Teacher Read
Since it is the first novel they have ever read, I read to the students, while they followed along in their own copy. I stopped as we went discussing questions that were projected. 

Readers Theater
We had actors with props portray the entertaining conversation and farts in chapter 2. 

This class had never used this site and loved how you can move at your own pace. 

Written summary of Ch1-2
At the end of a class I gave students a few minutes to just retell as much as they could about the book. Most did a great job as baby parrots regurgitating the story. 

Reading Assessment Ch1-2
The next day, we did a simple reading assessment matching characters and descriptions, and answering a few true false statements. From the data on this assessment, as well as feedback on the back of our quiz that we were moving way to slow for most students, so I switched it up with more options for differentiation the next day. (This is way it is so important to ask for feedback!)

Chapter 3

Reading Club Reading
After feedback, I decided to do chapter 3 in more of a differentiated reading club with options. If students did well on their assessment and felt confident as readers, they could read the chapter alone and complete activities in the the slide show of activities posted on Google Classroom. This included comprehension questions, fill in the blank vocabulary practice and open ended chapter retell. 

Those who wanted to be read to, discuss and complete activities together, sat with me. This was a GAME CHANGER for my most challenging classes. Some of the students had been acting out since they were Bored and we were moving to slow. They flourished when given more autonomy and control. It was a great reminder for me to make sure I am reaching the high flyers, as well as those who need more support. 

Scrambled Sentences
In another idea from Kristen Duncan, students worked with pairs on a whiteboard to unscramble projected words into sentences. (Ex. es / Ecuador / de / Carlos  - Carlos es de Ecuador). We discussed and corrected them together. 

As an extension, I wrote the same sentences plus more on colored paper, each word and punctuation on a separate piece. Students worked with a partner to manipulate these cards into a full sentence. Once they finished a sentence and checked it, they would return their set and get a new one. This was very helpful for the little words like la, del, un etc. It was a tricky way to sneak in adjective agreement and word order as well. Most students said it was very helpful, since my perfectionists have been complaining about not being able to put together sentences like they would like to. 


Scrambled Sentences - simple activity for any language class


Chapter 4

Differentiated Reading Based on Class
I have one small section who I will probably always read to. There are a few students who could read alone, but as a collective they always chose to read with me and complete activities together. In the other section, I gave the option to read with me, or read alone. Once done reading I had a few activity option in the slide show on Classroom, which they could chose from. 

Order of events
As a simple reading practice I had sentence strips of ten main events of the novel. Students worked in pairs to order the events, and then checked using their book. 

Listening Assessment Ch.1-4
Students listened to sentences from the novel and matched them with pictures from the book. 


More resources for teaching the novel 
My El capibara con botas Pinterest Board for more ideas for cultural expansion. 

Hopefully I will be sharing as we continue the novel. Use the label Capibara to find all posts related to the novel or novels for all posts related to the topic. 

Next post - Teaching Capibara Chapters 5-9

Have you taught El capibara con botas? Please share any additional ides in the comments!

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the ideas! How much time did you spend preteaching vocab? How long are you planning on spending on the novel? Did all your students have Spanish in middle school? I ask just because sometimes I run into situations where I have some students who have had Spanish and some who have not. I love the ideas on differentiating and giving them choices!!! Great post!

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