Teaching the novel Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha Chapter 5 day 2

There was just too much going on at this point in the novel to move ahead! I added a day to chapter 5 and did a review of the narrator’s life as a writing assessment. You should get this novel! And the TG has all of the essentials! These activities are not meant to replace the materials that accompany the guide, they’re meant to compliment it!

Our first order of business was to watch the video for our song of the week “Sueno Americano” by @losRakas. It is a great song! The video is perfect with this gang unit. We just talked about the narrator’s first mission yesterday and in the video we saw the crime and punishment as he might have!

I printed just one copy of this page: Chapter 5 Review Pics I am no artist, sorry! I cut out each picture and had students join me in a circle on the floor. I held up one of the images and asked them to tell me all that they could about it in TL. I encouraged them to ask questions about things they didn’t understand and to add detail to classmates’ comments. When discussion was slow getting started (like the child soldiers image), I reminded them of the context by asking leading questions like: Why did the father flee El Salvador? These questions got things moving along again and we had an excellent summary of the first 5 chapters of the novel. I feel like we know the author well at this point!

After about 20 minutes of discussion, students returned to their tables where I gave them this worksheet, one per student: ReviewCh1-5vidaymuertewriting One of the skills that I LONG overlooked in my classroom was question asking. About a year ago, the great Amy Lenord (@alenord, follow her) posted about how important this skill is since students are more likely to need to ask for information when traveling and working than simply give information! I’m always looking for ways to get them into question asking mode now! I asked them to interview the narrator and give his likely replies based on textual evidence. I don’t know if you’ve noticed a theme here… I am responsible for proving how I am working the literacy common core standards into my curriculum! 🙂 That support of main idea with textual evidence shows up a lot!

It was a day of 90% output and the kids felt (and WERE) successful as language speakers and writers! I was really proud of the way they led the discussion (even my quieter class!)

Have a great day and give the same idea a try in a different context!

4 thoughts on “Teaching the novel Vida y Muerte en la Mara Salvatrucha Chapter 5 day 2

  1. I have been following your blog for some time- thank you for all you share and do! I finally got approval for Vida y Muerte and plan to read/teach it this semester (I also got the teacher resource guide!) I first read about this book from your blog last year! Thank you again 🙂

  2. Carrie, you have been such a valuable resource for this book! I can not thank you enough for your wonderful ideas and creations. I ma implementing just about every one of them.

  3. I love the activities you have shared. I enjoy teaching this novel w/ all the resources available! I used your pictures today, but could you explain the “una serpiente” picture? I didn’t quite get its connection to the novel. I see that in the picture for Chapter 4 “Gustavo,” there is a snake, so we kind of talked about how maybe Gustavo was a snake because he allowed a 9-year old to kill someone…but I feel like I’m missing something. Thanks!

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