Teaching La Calaca Alegre - Chapters 11-15 - Mis Clases Locas

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Teaching La Calaca Alegre - Chapters 11-15

To finish the year, Spanish 4 is reading the novel La Calaca Alegre by Carrie Toth. I already posted about teaching chapters 1-5 & teaching chapters 6-10. Here are all posts with the label La Calaca Alegre.

Teaching La Calaca Alegre - Chapters 11-15

Chapter 11

  • It was a very nice day out, so we went outside to read chapter 11. I usually just post discussion questions from the teacher's guide, but I quick printed them out, so students could answer and discuss while outside. 
  • The next day to review, we completed a running dictation to get students up and moving.Here is our Running Dictation for chapter 11
  • We discussed a reading about Aztlán and chicano identity from the teacher's guide.
reading in the sunshine

Chapter 12

  • After reading and discussing, we did a reader's theater, acting out a portion of the chapter. 
  • Students did an activity from the teacher's guide, reading about an immigrant family. We discussed the challenges they faced, and if these are the same hardships the students would personally face if they were immigrating somewhere new.

Chapter 13

  • We played a couple rounds of Quizlet Live to review and practice vocabulary from the last few chapters of the book. 
  • We read and discussed the chapter and then did a little mini quiz from the teacher's guide to check for comprehension. 

Chapter 14 & 15

  • Per the class request I read the last two chapters out loud for old times sake, since it was their last book, or their last class. We discussed questions that I had projected as we went and completed it all in one class. 
  • Before the last chapter, we stopped for students to make their predictions for the end of the book, but no one guessed the big plot twist!
  • To review at the end we played Heads or Tails, a fun game with true/false statements. Here are the basic directions that were projected. 
    • Form a circle of chairs.
    • Stand in front of your chair & close your eyes.
    • The teacher reads statements from the book.
      • If true place both hands on your head.
      • If false, place both hands on your bottom.
    • If answer incorrectly sit down.


  • **New - Writing Assessment for any novel: Novice & Intermediate versions
  • Last year we did a presentational writing assessment and interpersonal speaking, but this class asked if we could do a project to end the year.
  • They are going to complete the great idea from the teacher's guide of creating projects that represent their identity. We will have a gallery walk day, where each student will explain their project, and everyone else will ask questions. The students are really excited about the project and I plan to have light snacks like an art gallery event on that day.
Overall, most students said La Calaca Alegre was their favorite book they have ever read in Spanish class! The recommended that it is a must read again next year for Spanish IV. Thank you Carrie Toth for such an engaging book and wonderfully written teacher's guide!


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  2. Does Calaca Alegre actually talk about DdLM? I haven't been able to get the book yet.

    1. It does not talk about DdLM! You can read the first couple chapters on the Fluency matters website

    2. Thanks :) Do you have any recommendations of novelas that include ddlm for level 3 or 4? I am doing Tumba with my 2's. For 3/4 I was hoping to finish a novel that includes ddlm by the end of October. That's when they'll be making their family ofrendas and reviewing family vocab.


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