Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Book Review: A Place to Belong



The following book review was done by MommyMaestra guest contributor, Stacie Farias. All thoughts and opinions are her own.

Diversity... in Homeschooling?


It has previously been the case that my family was the only BIPOC family in our local homeschool community. Having homeschooled around the country and overseas, we have experienced different levels of welcome in different communities, but we have never wavered from our decision to homeschool because of the lack of diversity.  If anything else, the lack of diversity in homeschooling has motivated me further to speak openly about our experiences as a Hispanic family with our homeschooling friends because I have often felt that we, my family as well as the other BIPOC homeschooling families of the last decade, have been laying the groundwork for what will be a beautiful and dramatic shift in the homeschool population.  Working with Mommy Maestra and helping moderate the Hispanic and Bilingual Homeschoolers FB group, has given me a front row seat to the colorful influx of new homeschoolers that started on this journey (initially due to COVID but have decided to stay) and what an incredible sight it is to behold.  


A Place to Belong


Emerging as a leading voice in the BIPOC homeschooling community is Amber O’Neal Johnston, already a blogger, Charlotte Mason devotee, and homeschooling speaker, Johnston is now a published author.  Her book, A Place To Belong: Celebrating Diversity and Kinship in the Home and Beyond, is destined to take its place in the pantheon of great homeschooling books like Sarah Mackenzie’s Teaching From Rest and Julie Bogart’s The Brave Learner.  Reading this book, I cried, I laughed, I felt seen. 


A Place To Belong is a blueprint for ANY family, not just Hispanic like mine or African American like Johnston’s, who is looking to add more to their homeschooling experience in terms of diversity but also when to use the usual books in the Western canon.  Just like her blog, Heritage Mom: Homeschooling Children With Mirrors and Windows, Johnston believes that parents should build, “a library that intentionally melds beautiful literature, contemporary stories, and books as mirrors and windows so children can see themselves, value and embrace others, and become part of a story that enlarges the borders of what is worthy, significant, and possible.” 





Johnston also provides a framework for discussing difficult subjects with your family, found in books and media.  Let’s face it.  We live in times where echoes of the difficult past of our country, continent, hemisphere, is played out on the news.  How do we talk to our children about topics like chattel slavery, racism, stereotypes, violence, etc.? How do we address divisive issues found in books, media, and in real life?  How can we build community and friendships with people who are different from us? Johnston tackles this and more in A Place To Belong


Johnston is also painfully and beautifully honest about her experiences as a homeschooler and what it is like to parent her children in a world that, at times, does not recognize their dignity.  There are too many instances in the book to name but several stand out in my mind that I will never forget including the incident with the hand-dryer on page 54, the list of questions on page 74, and specifically ALL of Chapter 9 “From Tragedy To Triumph: Bringing Hard History into the Home.”  Johnston’s retelling of her family’s experiences filled me with intense sorrow, righteous anger, and above all the motivation to do better for my family and my homeschooling community. 


Simply put, this book is remarkable.  As you can tell from the well-loved cover in the picture at the top of this post, it is something I personally have been waiting to read for a long, long time.  If you cannot afford this book, because we have to squeeze every penny out of our homeschool budgets, ask your library to purchase it for you.  Suggest this book for your mother’s book club (there is a discussion guide in the back). Look for it on Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla or recommend your library purchase it digitally.  Borrow it from a friend.  But please, read it while you are picking out what books to use next year.  Read it while you are discerning how to raise compassionate and thoughtful children. Read it while you are overwhelmed with the endless barrage of difficult headlines and offensive memes and despairing over whether everyone will just stop being so mean to each other.  I promise, you will feel renewed.


“As I raise my kids, I will infuse in them all the beauty of who they are and where they come from while ensuring that they see you and your children as friends and not foes. I’ll give them windows into other families and their ways of life alongside the mirrors reflecting our own culture to them.  I will lead them to love themselves.  And I will teach them to love you.” - Johnston


Thank you for writing this, Amber! We are so grateful!


You can purchase your copy here:


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Monday, June 13, 2022

7 Fantasy Books by Latino Authors for Tweens & Teens



There are just so many wonderful books hitting the market and I realized the other day that I haven't posted anything recently for tweens and teens. 

So if you are looking for some great reads by wonderful authors for your child to enjoy this summer, consider one - or all! - of these titles. 

Happy reading!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. 


by Ryan Calejo

Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.

But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.

Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Peluda (a.k.a. the Hairy Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).



J.C. Cervantes

Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He'd much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie, than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno--for his one good leg. What Zane doesn't know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy.

A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he's destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in--unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happens. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane.

When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father. To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can't even walk well without a cane?


by Karla Arenas Valenti

In the hottest hour of the hottest day of the year, a fateful wind blows into Oaxaca City. It whistles down cobbled streets and rustles the jacaranda trees before slipping into the window of an eleven-year-old girl named Clara. Unbeknownst to her, Clara has been marked for la Lotería.

Karla Arenas Valenti weaves an adventure steeped in magic and mythology—gorgeously illustrated by Dana Sanmar—exploring the notion of free will in a world where fate holds all the cards.



by Kaela Rivera

Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous, especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits roam the desert and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas, much to her family’s disapproval. After all, only brujas—humans who capture and control criaturas—consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime.

When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil’s Alley, though, she’ll have to become a bruja herself—while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans and agrees to help her on her journey.

With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family—and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.


by Tehlor Mejia

Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It’s all they’ve heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths.

Hating her mother’s humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it’s the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right. . . .

Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.


by Donna Barba Higuera

Había una vez . . .There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita.

But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race.

Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard – or purged them altogether.

Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?


by Julian Randall

Twelve-year-old Pilar Violeta “Purp” Ramirez’s world is changing, and she doesn’t care for it one bit. Her Chicago neighborhood is gentrifying and her chores have doubled since her sister, Lorena, left for college. The only constant is Abuela and Mami’s code of silence around her cousin Natasha―who vanished in the Dominican Republic fifty years ago during the Trujillo dictatorship.

When Pilar hears that Lorena’s professor studies such disappearances, she hops on the next train to dig deeper into her family's mystery. After snooping around the professor's empty office, she discovers a folder with her cousin’s name on it . . . and gets sucked into the blank page within.

She lands on Zafa, an island swarming with coconut-shaped demons, butterfly shapeshifters, and a sinister magical prison where her cousin is being held captive. Pilar will have to go toe-to-toe with the fearsome Dominican boogeyman, El Cuco, if she has any hope of freeing Natasha and getting back home.


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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Free 1-Day Homeschool Lesson


Happy summer, friends! Whether your family takes a break from school work in the summer or forges ahead and continues schooling on the days it's just too hot to do anything outside, many of you keep the Spanish learning going. Or maybe while your kids are splashing around enjoying the dog days of summer (it's headed to triple digits where I live), you are casually researching curricula to use next year. This month's freebie from MommyMaestra sponsor, Spanish for You!, gives you a peek at their homeschool program.

This month's freebie is a FREE 1-day homeschool lesson! This SIX-page download comes with instructions, vocabulary activity cards, a game sheet, a worksheet, and answer key. 

Download the printable file here

Download the audio file here


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Remember! Spanish for You!'s program is geared for middle schoolers and is the perfect choice for homeschoolers and afterschoolers alike because their concepts are carefully divided up into manageable bundles that are available for immediate download from their website.

If this is your first time here, you can find other free samples from Spanish for You! here. There are some fantastic downloads of games and activities for you and your family to enjoy. If you enjoy this activity, be sure to visit the Spanish for You! website where you'll find tons of additional resources for you to help your young Spanish learner!



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Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Bilingual Book Club Packet


There's a new packet in my shop today!

Last week, I shared a post on How to Start a Book Club for 8 to 12-Year-Olds. As soon as I hit publish, I knew I needed to add another resource to make book clubbing more fun. 

Bilingual Book Club Activity Pages


So... voilá! Here's a bilingual packet of book club printables. They are designed to make running a book club easy and enjoyable for kids. 

It comes with pages for: 
  • writing down discussion questions, 
  • reviewing books, 
  • a member roster, and 
  • tickets for choosing a different meeting leader each time you get together.




Other Summer Reading Printables


You can also pair it with my bilingual reading passport, depending on the book theme or the format of your book club. It says Día de los Niños on it because that's the occasion for which I made it. But EVERY DAY is Día de los Niños, remember? And the passport itself doesn't have any specific holiday mentioned. It's pretty versatile and can be used at any time of year for any reading activity.





You might also like the free bilingual reading logs that you can download in my TpT shop. This packet contains three different designs so you can track by:
  1. # of minutes read,
  2. # of pages read,
  3. OR # of books read.
ALL of the logs are available in full color or black-and-white, and they are available in English and Spanish. You choose which one works best for your students.


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Airfryer Strawberry Chimichangas





You guys know, I think, how much I love my airfryer. I've shared a few recipes here over the years, most with a twist on traditional dishes. And today, I have another one!

Air Fryer Strawberry Chimichangas


Are you ready to try something different this summer? It'll be an adventure. Who knows? It may these airfryer strawberry chimichangas may turn out to be your new favorites!

Tools You'll Need


Of course, you'll need an airfryer! Eight years ago, I got a Philips airfryer and it is still going strong! But I am probably in need of an upgrade because I really need a bigger one. Here's the airfryer I'm considering



Ingredients


To make your strawberry chimis, you'll need:

  • 6 burrito-sized tortillas
  • 8 oz whipped cream cheese
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • toothpicks

Directions


Makes six chimis.


Preheat your airfryer to 350 degrees.




Slice your strawberries. 




Then, in a mixing bowl, go ahead and combine them with the whipped cream cheese, vanilla extract, and Greek yogurt.





Divide the strawberry mixture evenly between the 6 tortillas and place a spoonful of the mixture in the center of each tortilla.





Roll up the tortilla and use a toothpick to hold it closed.

Lightly coat the chimis with melted butter and place them in the airfryer.




Air fry for five minutes or until the tortillas have turned a golden brown color.




Remove the toothpicks.

Roll each of the chimichangas in brown sugar (optional).

Serve and enjoy!


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Monday, May 30, 2022

How to Start a Book Club for 8 to 12-Year-Olds



​​If you’re looking for a way to get your child reading, start a book club! It’s a great way to encourage kids to read for pleasure, and it can help them develop important skills like critical thinking and communication. Here are some tips on how to start a book club for 8 to 12-year-olds.

Choose a location


Your home could be an option for a book club location, or you might want to look into local community centers and libraries that offer space for peer groups to meet. These days, you could also do a virtual option. Or you can enlist help from your mom friends and rotate homes for each meeting. If you do choose to meet in person, be sure to check with the parents of potential members to ensure that their child is comfortable coming to your home.


Decide on a format


There are lots of different formats you can use for your book club, including: 
  • read aloud discussion, 
  • guided reading, 
  • and independent reading. 
If the kids read independently at home, they can then come prepared to answer questions about the book. Or have each child bring a question they have about the story.

Get creative! You could have the kids make a craft related to the book at each meeting. Or pull out the LEGOs and have kids build something that relates back to the book: a scene, a person, or an object. Or you might choose books that are also available as movies and then watch the film at each meeting. 

Keep trying new formats as you go along and see what works best for your group. You may find that some formats work better for certain types of books.




Choose books wisely


While it's important to pick books that everyone will enjoy and that encourage critical thinking skills, it's also important that they are at the right reading level

Additionally, try to look for books with a good mixture of male and female characters, as well as characters from different backgrounds and cultures. Diverse books are always a good choice. You can find a lot of them here on MommyMaestra.


Encourage discussion


Discussing the books is an essential part of a book club, so be sure to pick titles that will spark interesting discussions! You can even have your own "mystery box" that contains possible book choices, and let the kids choose from there.

If you don't want to read the books yourself, then you can: 
  1. have your child lead the group and come up with questions to ask, or
  2. look online for discussion questions. 
Author websites and publisher websites often have lesson plans or discussion questions that can be downloaded. But TpT is also a good place to look.


Put rewards in place


Whether it's a small prize or public praise, make sure the kids have some sort of reward in place to encourage their participation. Don't be afraid to add your own personal touch to this!

Here are a few reward ideas for kids ages 8 to 12.



Start small


Remember, you don't have to start with a huge group. A smaller group of dedicated readers is better than a large group that doesn't participate. You can always build up from there. Quality over quantity! (It's also a lot easier to manage and more budget friendly, depending on your reward plans.)


Be flexible


Try to be flexible with your book club plans. If a child can’t make it to a meeting, don’t force them to come. And if someone wants to bring a friend, that’s great! The more the merrier.


Use printable activity sheets


If you do a quick search for "book club printables" there are a lot of great options that come up. Think about using reading logs, book reports, bookmarks, reading craftivities, etc. Or challenge your children to design their own book club signs, member roster, book list, etc.

Later this week, I'll share some bilingual book club printables I designed and link to them here.


How to modify the book club for specific themes


If you want to focus on a specific theme for your book clubs, like science fiction or mystery, you can use these steps as a guide. Just make sure to choose books that fit the theme, and encourage discussion around that topic. You might even want to create some themed activities to go along with the reading.

Example: Summer Book Club


A good example of modifying a book club would be a summer book club. You can include classics like Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days or contemporary titles like Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Example: Hispanic Heritage Month Book Club for kids


If you're looking for a way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with kids, a book club is a perfect option. You can use books like Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan or The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker: A Mickey Rangel Mystery by René Saldaña Jr. or Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle if you are looking for books by Latino authors.

Example: Women's History Month for kids


If you're looking for a way to celebrate Women's History Month with kids, a book club is a perfect option. You could focus on books featuring strong female protagonists like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo.




Where is the best place to buy books for book clubs?


First, always try your local library. Especially if the book club members live in different areas. But if your book club consists of neighborhood kids, chances are your library won't have enough copies for everyone. So, the best place to buy books for book clubs is typically a local bookstore or online retailer. Many bookstores will offer discounts for book club purchases, and you can often find good deals on used books as well. 

If you're looking for specific titles, it's usually best to check online retailers like Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.


How should an adult be involved in the book club?


Your level of involvement as an adult has in your children's book club will ultimately depend on the group's preferences. Some clubs may prefer that adults take a more hands-off approach, while others may appreciate having an adult chaperone or facilitator. Ultimately, it's up to the group to decide what level of involvement is best for them. You may lead discussions or just provide snacks and help with set up! 

Starting a book club can be a great way to encourage kids to read and discuss books critically. By choosing wisely, you can create a book club that is interesting for kids and encourages discussion. Be sure to have rewards in place to motivate the kids, and try to be flexible with your plans. If you want to focus on a specific theme or holiday, you can easily modify the book club to fit your needs.

Have you ever started a book club for kids? How did it work out?


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image source: Canstock Photo - Ferli

Friday, May 27, 2022

Book Review: TEACH by Dennis Dinoia

TEACH by Dennis Dinoia

This is a sponsored book post. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Every kid is different. We all know that. And if you have more than one child at home, you know that different kids sometimes require different instruction or motivation. 

One of the comments I see a lot of in the homeschool groups I run or am a member of is: How do I get my kid to work on his/her own? I have certainly struggled with this myself. My oldest just graduated and has always been self-motivated. Never did I tell her to go get her school work done. (She was actually only homeschooled until high school, then went to a private school to finish out.)

But at home, I am still homeschooling a sophomore and a preschooler. Actually, they are both about to move up a "grade."  But I frequently tear my hair out because my 16yo has to be badgered all the time to get his school work done. Every. Single. Day. I have to tell him to get it done. 

So I was pretty interested when I heard that Dennis Dinoia of Mr. D Math was coming out with a book that specifically talks about how to get kids to be responsible for their own education. 

TEACH by Dennis Dinoia


Raising Independent Learners

TEACH: Creating Independently Responsible Learners helps parents become their children's education partners, rather than their monitors, hand-holders, or naggers. 

Inside the pages of this book, you'll learn what exactly he means when he uses the term independently responsible learners (umm, it's exactly what it sounds like). But what I enjoyed most, is learning different techniques for nurturing my child's ability to learn independently....and  willingly. 

Dennis shares his ah-ha moments as a teacher that led to his strategy for developing independent learners. Some of these techniques I recognized from my own days as a student, as well as a homeschooling mom. For example, making the student the teacher. This is something I often told my kids when they were younger: "If you can teach it to me, or each other, or someone else, then you will understand it." I can't believe that I FORGOT this trick now that my middle kid is in high school where it would be sooo effective!! Ugh. 

But that's why I love this book. And it's how I know that the guidance inside these pages is solid.

It also includes a bonus chapter at the end to help you or your student set goals. He literally walks you through it and gives you the tools you need to visually lay out a plan that you can follow.


Change Your Mindset


If you are a homeschool mom like me who is feeling a lot of burnout after a few difficult years (let's face it: they were hard for everyone), and you are looking for an inspirational book to help you reset your mindset, this book is definitely for you. 

Even if you have fairly self-motivated kids who get their work done without being told to do so, this book has some wonderful techniques for you to implement to continue nurturing their independent spirit when it comes to their education.

We are about to stop schooling for the summer (and don't get me wrong, I've been looking forward to relaxing this summer), but I'm already looking forward to implementing many of the techniques discussed in this book. 


The Discount

The paperback version of this book is $14.95 on Amazon. BUT between now and June 15, 2022, you can get the eBook for just $.99! Don't wait. If you have a collection of books about homeschooling or teaching, this is one is a must-add.

Want to find this post again? Pin it!

TEACH by Dennis Dinoia


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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Spring Flowers Pronoun Game in Spanish




For some of us, it feels like spring has already sprung and been squashed by summer. But for most of people, warmer temperatures and blooming gardens are filling the days. Now is a good time to keep up your child's Spanish lessons with this month's freebie from MommyMaestra sponsor, Spanish for You!, a perfect activity for young Spanish learners!

This month's freebie is a game for learning about personal pronouns. Spring Flowers Pronoun Game helps your young student learn the Spanish words for pronouns. This three-page download comes with instructions, a pronoun help sheet, and a game sheet.


Download the printable file here


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Remember! Spanish for You!'s program is geared for middle schoolers and is the perfect choice for homeschoolers and afterschoolers alike because their concepts are carefully divided up into manageable bundles that are available for immediate download from their website.

If this is your first time here, you can find other free samples from Spanish for You! here. There are some fantastic downloads of games and activities for you and your family to enjoy. If you enjoy this activity, be sure to visit the Spanish for You! website where you'll find tons of additional resources for you to help your young Spanish learner!


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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Pablo Neruda Reading Passage

 


Pablo Neruda is such a controversial figure. People seem to either love him or hate him.

Either way, parents and teachers are looking for resources to study the poet. And these resources can be hard for a person to find. It seems like the online lesson plans come and go, but I just updated my post Pablo Neruda Lesson Plans, Videos, Books, and More

This post contains affiliate links.

Pablo Neruda Reading Worksheet

I have also gone ahead and adapted the one-page reading passage in my Hispanic Poets packet into a more lengthy, stand-alone activity. It is now available in my TpT store.

This is an age-appropriate short biographical intro to the poet, not the politician. 

It's best suited for students in 4th through 7th grade and is available in both English or Spanish - you choose the language that meets your needs. 

And, yes, it does include an 8-question quiz to test your student's comprehension. 

How to Use It

This reading passage may be:

  • assigned as homework, 
  • for an in-class assignment, 
  • as an activity for a sub,
  • as part of a larger lesson plan (see my post on Neruda lesson plans)

You can also have your students use it to:
  • read aloud to practice pronunciation in Spanish or English
  • create a story board
  • fill out a story map
  • write a summary
  • complete a K-W-L chart
  • create a timeline of Neruda's life
  • identify and define new vocabulary
  • find Chile on a map
  • write their own poem...in a different colored ink?
  • write a character analysis
  • complete a Venn diagram to compare/contrast Neruda with another poet

This reading passage would do well with studies about Neruda, Chile, poets, writers, literature, nature, Hispanic Heritage Month, historical figures, and more.

And if you are looking for a book that would pair nicely with this introduction, I recommend:


The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan and Peter Sis. It's also available in Spanish: El soñador



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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

40 Ways to Keep Your Child Excited About Reading


Happy May! 

For some, the end of the school year is in sight. For others, school will continue through the hot summer months. Either way, your child's reading development should be one of the things you stay on top of this summer.

This month, we'll be focusing on summer reading: tips, books, strategies, and more.

One challenge that parents face during the summer is keeping their kids excited about reading. So we've put together a short list of ways to make reading fun.

Did we miss one? Let us know!

Read with your children
© Can Stock Photo / evgenyatamanenko


40+ Ways to Get Your Kids Excited About Reading

  1. Read with your child.
  2. Make it special and set up a comfortable reading nook just for your child.
  3. Visit the bookstore or library on a weekly basis.
  4. Translate a story!
  5. Read the book...then watch the movie... or vice versa! Discuss which one you liked better and why.
  6. Involve friends. Invite your child's friends over for a book swap party.
  7. Create your own book club and meet weekly to discuss new books.
  8. Make puppets and then have your child(ren) put on a puppet show of the story for friends and family.
  9. Dress up in costumes and re-enact the story! (Who doesn't love a good play?)
  10. Write up a book report.
  11. Read to a pet!
  12. Help your child create a video book review!
  13. Add variety. Read books, magazines, eBooks, cookbooks, fiction, non-fiction, biographies, comic books, graphic novels, classics, action & adventure...
  14. Ask your child to write and illustrate his/her own story.
  15. Read outside.
  16. Read in the car.
  17. Download an eBook app, such as EpicStoria, or Readyland.
  18. Go to the park to read!
  19. Make up different endings.
  20. Buy picture books without words and make up your own story.

    © Can Stock Photo / Choreograph

  21. Read to a stuffed toy.
  22. Use story boards.
  23. Make meals mentioned in the story.
  24. Create a felt story board.
  25. Join a summer reading program.
  26. Listen to audiobooks.
  27. Create a reward chart.
  28. Use reading logs to record their progress.
  29. Use story cubes.
  30. Use incentives (these can be physical items or simple privileges).
  31. Read aloud. Pick a book you both love and take turns reading to each other.
  32. Dress it up! Gift wrap a book you've carefully selected and give it to your child as a gift.
  33. Make sure your child is reading books on her level. Books that are too difficult or advanced make reading a lot less fun.
  34. Buy a fun book light at the dollar store. 
  35. Bribery! (Lol!!)
  36. Give your child his own library card.
  37. Stay up late reading!
  38. Read to a friend.
  39. Read to Abuela or Abuelo (Grandma or Grandpa).
  40. Let your child choose the book.
  41. Find books on topics your child is interested in.
  42. Vary your child's reading routine.



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