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Esperanza Chapter 1, Day 2

January 17, 2013

Today was our second day spent on Chapter 1 of Esperanza, by Carol Gaab. Here is how we spent it:

  1. Students re-read Chapter 1 aloud with a partner. I used my seating chart to walk around and monitor that they were actually speaking.
  2. We discussed the problems that Esperanza had in Chapter 1 (Note: If you read the comments on my last Esperanza post, you'll see that Carol intentionally waited until the last chapter to reveal that the narrator's name is Esperanza--too late for me; I gave it away! I'll keep referring to her as Esperanza, but you may want to just refer to her as "the narrator" until the end of the book.)
  3. I passed back and we reviewed the graphic organizers that we completed yesterday (attached to the last post).
  4. I orally reviewed the comprehension questions for the chapter, included in the Teacher's Guide, with the class.
  5. The kids read the reading about Unions (included in the Teacher's Guide). This was an awesome reading, and very important to the understanding of the novel. It's also a great tie-in with Social Studies standards! However, my middle schoolers had a really difficult time with it simply because they have no background knowledge on the topic. They also don't know what many of the cognates used in the reading are (injustice, coalition, oppressors, combat, etc.). For that reason, I did a fair amount of pre-teaching before I gave them the reading. I gave them the English definitions of some of the key vocabulary, and then we discussed their meaning in Spanish. While they read, I had them complete this Cornell notes sheet (click on image to access notes page) with notes in English to make sense of what they were reading, since the content--NOT the language--was a bit above their level. After most kids had finished the notes sheet, we discussed the notes in Spanish and English (I gave quick definitions in English to ensure comprehension of the concepts, then switched into Spanish to discuss them), discussed the comprehension questions included in the Teacher's Guide, and called it a day.

Although today was not our "most fun" day in class (any ideas to spice things up are very welcome!), the discussion about unions was great. We ended up talking about injustices in our school and what might happen if they formed a union and went on strike on any given issue. Once again, I am so grateful to have great content to work from--both in the novel and the Teacher's Guide!

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